Review: The BFG


Now Disney is having so much success with its live action reworkings of classic movies, some of the less well-known ones are fair game. The BFG was a film I used to watch as a child since its release in 1989 and it was really scary and felt like a classic, in the way only something you watched to death in your younger years.

Firstly, this is Spielberg revisiting his past glory. The BFG has all the epic-scale magic and wonder of films like E.T. and Close Encounters while pushing motion capture technology to new levels. Mark Rylance, who was so perfect in Bridge of Spies gives a realism to what would have been, in the past, a completely computer generated character that simply wouldn’t have felt like it had been there. The effects in this film are virtually seamless.

It’s not quite as scary as the 1989 version, what made he cartoon scary as a child was the appearance of the bad giants. They looked like monsters compared to the largely human form of the BFG, the bad giants in this version of the film were just bigger and they certainly weren’t as threatening as their animated predecessors. It could just be that I’m older, but I have a feeling the tone was lighter this time round.

Ruby Barnhill playing Sophie was a real revelation too. So often you find that child actors can ruin a film by over or under acting, but she played the part of the (un)fortunate orphan really well. 2016 has been a year of really strong child actors what with The Jungle Book,  Stranger Things and now this.

It was going to be touch and go as to whether The BFG stood up to comparisons with the cartoon for me, but I was really pleased with the final product. It could have been darker, but it was great to see Spielberg prove he’s still the master of the big-budget, effects-driven blockbusters after so many years of historical dramas.


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