The BFG proves, once again, that Steven Spielberg is at his best when his budget is limited and his effects consist of chicken wire and clay. I can’t say that BFG was specifically bad, it was colorful, not overly long, and the voice acting of both the titular character and the other giants was great. Unfortunately, I found the entire experience to be extremely boring, like someone telling you a really old story to put you to bed.
The film is based on the classic book by author Roald Dahl who brought us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It follows an orphan girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who is taken after she sees a giant (Mark Rylance) outside the window of her orphanage. She is initially intimidated by the giant before finding out he is a kind-hearted soul who is bullied by the other, much larger giants. It seems from that description of the movie that the moral would be clear but I couldn’t honestly tell you if they cover a larger meaning.
The film starts off with Sophie playing an often repeated roll of British orphan who is the black sheep of the orphanage. Those facts constitute the entirety of her character development as she is taken by the BFG minutes into the movie. She does often encourage the BFG to stand up to the other giants when they harass him but she tends to be a liability for him more than any help. The BFG himself is a nice character on his own but the very strange and, frankly, cheap style of visual effects used combined with his unique use of language muddled his character into an unintelligible, and sometimes unwatchable, mess.
There were parts of this movie that were touching and parts that had heart but overall I just found this movie to be very boring. I’m not sure why this film was made with such a poor grasp of effects but it made me wonder how good a fully animated movie would have been with the same story. I understand that this already exists but with the full power of the Disney animation team in 2016, I have to believe it would have been amazing. Still the film does have some endearing moments and the children who filled the theater with me enjoyed it, so if you’re looking to this article for advice I would say your children will love this film, and it is still far better than anything Illumination will try to sell to your kids, but if you’re just a Disney fan looking to see a movie, wait for the home release.