8. The BFG
If The BFG wasn’t directed by Steven Spielberg, you could probably shave a solid 10% off its Rotten Tomatoes score. It’s a fine enough movie, both as a 2016 family film and Roald Dahl adaptation, but there’s really only an assumption, rather than delivery, of true magic.
Mark Rylance, who shall henceforth be known as Steven Spielberg’s Mark Rylance, is predictably perfect in the central mo-cap role, even better than his Oscar-winning turn in Bridge Of Spies, and Ruby Barnhall is a great find as precocious young Sophie, but they always feel somewhat removed and the craft that so often accentuates Spielberg’s films feels too obvious; you can see the lines like you never could in his classics.
Where the problems really come are in the final third, where Sophie and BFG visit the Queen and trick her into helping with their nasty giant problem, by way of a fart-y meal in Buckingham Palace. It just doesn’t fit, and speaks of a wider tonal inconsistence; I for one would be happy if we never saw the “awright guv’nor” London presented in any non-Dickens adaptation ever again. We have the Night Tube now, we’re past it.