BFG movie poster

Whether or not you are a fan of fart jokes, you will almost certainly feel something during the protracted run-up and almost equally protracted execution of the one that director Steven Spielberg delivers in his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved story of a runty giant who seeks to atone for the man-eating sins of his fellows by collecting and delivering dreams to the sleeping world. You may share in the delight of the big fellow himself, who regards a good fart as an expression of well-being. You may laugh at the bilious green gas’s propulsive force. Or you may turn up your cinematically offended nose. But at least you’ll feel something, which is more than can be said for most of the rest of the film, which finds Spielberg indulging his taste for effects both garish and goopy while neglecting the emotional connection between orphan (a somewhat wooden Ruby Barnhill) and giant (a sweet, CGI’d Mark Rylance). Neglecting also the palpable dread and danger that should infuse a story involving the eating of children. Indulging also the giant’s mistakifined vocabunaries — which probably worked better on the page — and the runtime in general. There are good bits among the bad (the giant’s bullying, bratty kinfolk especially), but mostly, there’s simply not enough there. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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