Friday, July 1, 2016
The BFG Review
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I will be reviewing the movie The BFG and not the book The BFG. Zero comparisons will be made between the two in this review simply because I have zero knowledge of the book. I do know Roald Dahl and some of his other works, but for some reason I went through life not even knowing that The BFG novel existed until the first teaser for this came out and everyone started freaking out. And no, I didn't bother reading it or even researching the plot before seeing the movie, so I went in completely blind and thus I will be talking solely about my movie going experience with this story. If you want a book/movie comparison, feel free to find another friend who could help you out there and let me know what you come up with. However, even though I had no knowledge of The BFG, I was still excited for this movie. I mean, this is Steven freaking Spielberg we're talking about. I, like everyone else on this planet, love Spielberg's movies. One of the many great things about him is that he has something for everyone. Movies like Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List are some of my favorite movies, all for different reasons. And a John Williams score to go along with it? I'm so down!
As far as the plot goes, this movie is about a young girl becoming friends with a giant. She's an orphan and she really doesn't like it too well at the orphanage. One night she hears something and wanders over to the window to see what it was and she sees the giant. Because she saw him, he feels the need to kidnap her because he's afraid she'll tell everyone about him. She thinks he's going to eat her for dinner, but she quickly learns that he is in fact a big friendly giant, so she calls him BFG. The two become friends rather quickly and are quite the charming pair. We also learn quickly that BFG isn't the only giant out there. The others aren't quite as friendly. They're more like BFI's, big freaking idiots. They're the ones that actually are the mean, child-eating monsters and children all over London have been going missing because they get kidnapped and eaten by these other giants, which is kinda disturbing when you stop and think about it. Good thing we aren't shown any of that. But that does lead to our conflict in the movie. It's BFG vs. the other giants and BFG and the girl have to figure out what to do. As I said, they make quite the team. It's a lot of fun to watch them interact and talk with each other. They go on several fun adventures and the compliment each other quite well.
I will admit that I am still kind of mad that Mark Rylance won the best supporting actor Oscar earlier this year over Sylvester Stallone. I mean Mark Rylance did a good job in Bridge of Spies. But Sylvester Stallone in Creed was incredible and there will never be another chance to reward Stallone for his great performance as Rocky Balboa. Sorry for bringing that up, but that's what I think about now when I see Mark Rylance and I had to get that out of my system. But now the other thing I will think about when I see Mark Rylance is his incredible performance as BFG. Not only was the motion capture element of this great, but so was his overall performance. BFG is not very good at English and because of that he is always stumbling over his words or making words up as he goes. The little girl spends a lot of time correcting him on his English and helping him to become better. It was rather charming to watch and Mark Rylance just rocked this character. He was so good. As so was our little girl for that matter. Her character's name is Sophie and the young actress is a girl by the name of Ruby Barnhill. It's rare to find a great child actress and we've found another one here. She is such an adorable little girl and does such a great job.
No, this movie won't be remembered as one of Spielberg's masterpieces. But I appreciate the fact that he can still feel comfortable with toning things down and making a solid movie that the kids will enjoy. That's what this is. Regardless of overall quality, another thing I love about Spielberg is that he always makes well-crafted films. Spielberg has the art of filmmaking down to a science and it's been this way for many years, which is why it's always great to watch a Spielberg movie. And a John Williams score is something that I always love. The man is 84 years old, so I don't know how many more films he has in him. But I hope it's still a lot. His scores have been some of my all time favorites and I look forward to many more. So yes, there's a lot to love in this movie. It's a well-crafted movie with a beautiful score. Mark Rylance is amazing as the BFG and Ruby Barnhill is equally as great as Sophie. The two of them are just charming to watch. The movie overall is nothing special and I was bored a lot more than I should've been in the first half. But I still think this is a good family film worth seeing. Even if you don't have the means to see it in theaters, I'd recommend you renting it at some point. My grade for The BFG is a 7/10.