guest post by Patrick Ayers
Based on a Roald Dahl book of the same name, The BFG is the Steven Spielberg directed story of Sophie, a young orphan girl in England who meets the BFG, the Big Friendly Giant. Sophie and the BFG go a on a grand adventure that takes them from London to the land of the giants and back again. Rated PG, from Disney.
Will My Kid Like This Movie?
It has giants, adventure, magic, a kid who has her act together way more than the surrounding adults, and fart jokes. You’ll kid will like it. I think, however, they will Kung Fu Panda-level like it and not Frozen-level like it. They will enjoy the movie but when they get to school in the fall they won’t need a BFG t-shirt, a BFG backpack or a notebook with the BFG on it in order to fit in. You won’t have to buy the BFG Blu-Ray the first day it comes out in order to stave off a children’s revolt in your household. I don’t think it is going to have much of a lasting cultural impact.
But they will certainly like it. My own kids were away visiting family so I brought my next-door neighbor, who is nine, along to give me his perspective. He thought it was “awesome” and that the fart jokes were great.
Which, they were.
Should we see this movie in 3D?
My standard answer to this is no. I usually don’t think 3D is worth it. It makes the action in movies like Captain America: Civil War harder to follow and I find myself spending half the movie pushing my head back against the headrest in an attempt to put some distance between me and the screen so I can tell what is happening.
That said, I would completely recommend seeing The BFG in 3D.
First of all, the movie looks amazing. The world, both the real world and the world of the giants, is just beautiful and the BFG himself, motioned captured and voiced by actor Mark Rylance, is maybe the best example of a completely computer generated character interacting with the real world since Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies.
The 3D is so immersive that halfway through the movie, I wasn’t aware of it anymore by which I mean it was enhancing the viewing experience instead of distracting from it. So if you can, spring for 3D.
Will This Movie Give My Kid Nightmares?
Maybe. I would say kids four and under might want to take a pass.
There are a couple of intense scenes. The evil giants eat children and aren’t shy about it. We don’t ever see them actually do it, but there are a couple of times when the three year old sitting in the theater behind me was making it very clear that he didn’t like what was happening and wanted to go home right now.
Also, and I don’t want to make a big of a thing of it, but there is a scene where the main character intentionally jumps off a building. It works out, which is great for Sophia because she avoids being killed or maimed and it advances the plot, but it felt a little unsettling to me.
Will I like this movie?
You won’t hate it. It’s fine, it’s not great. It’s not, for example, Alvin and the Chipmunks level bad. I understand that is damnation by faint praise but, as far as kid-focused movies go, I think we all will agree that sometimes not hating it is more than enough.
I am a huge Roald Dahl fan. Furthermore, I love Steven Spielberg movies.
A Steven Spielberg directed movie based on a Roald Dahl book is right up my alley.
It’s just ended up just not working for me.
The first act is super. The character introductions and the general set up is very strong. The last act is fine. The resolution is a bit abrupt, but it isn’t unsatisfying. Essentially any time the BFG is interacting with our world, the film is enchanting.
The middle act…well, the middle act is dull. It drags and is full of unexplained and unconnected parts that just feel like they fall short of mattering. There are entire elements and bits of plot that the film spends a lot of time on that could be lifted almost entirely and make no difference to the story. That’s never a good sign. The middle act, like the rest of the film, all looks lovely. It’s just a bit of a disconnected mess.
Maybe even worse, it is a hollow disconnected mess. ET, the Steven Spielberg movie that was written by Melissa Mathison who is also the screenwriter of The BFG spent the entire second act of the 1982 film making you care about ET and his human friend Elliot. That never really happens in The BFG and so the end result is an impressive spectacle that has no emotional heft. That why I don’t think, ultimately, The BFG will have long lasting appeal. You like all the characters. You just don’t ever care much about them.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.
Official Ambassador of MediaKits.com.