Running time : 2 hours.
Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton , Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall.
If I didn’t already know that this version was directed by Stephen Spielberg, then I’d have struggled to tell. His finger prints are maybe on some shot framing on a scene or two but outside of that I’d say this could’ve been anyone. The Big Friendly Giant himself, played by Mark Rylance, is recognisable in the face as the actor himself and the effects are done in a way which is reminiscent of the Robert Zemeckis’s A Christmas Carol from 2009. To be honest I expected a much more cutting edge CGI which I may struggle to believe was CGI at all. Sure it’s very good but when you see Ruby Barnhill playing young Sophie it high lit the gap between real and unreal for me. Sophie as a character and the BFG also surprised me because I didn’t wholly like either of them. Sophie seemed like a little brat with a chip on her shoulder. The source book is pretty simplistic in its story telling and that was felt on the film as long over running scenes such as meeting (person omitted) stretched my patients and that of my son. With so few things happening in general I kind of lost interest in parts.
The opening stealth skills of the BFG showed skill and imagination but these moments faded out eventually. Although the scenes were shot looking like they could happen in the Harry Potter universe, there was little else in common with that much better family outing. When you realise you are enjoying the villains more than the heroes then you know you’re not properly invested.
I left a little let down to be honest but there’s just enough to get you through till the end.