a giant movie

Steven Spielberg lost me a while ago. After a certain point i lost the „Spielberg made another movie!“ brand of excitement and it got replaced by a „why didn’t he direct Transformers?“ feeling of disapointment. Anyway, we went to see his latest directorial work, The BFG.
Anybody else thought he made a Doom movie[1] before we read The Big Friendly Giant beneath the shortened version? Ive seen the trailer before The Force Awakens, and was looking forward to seeing it. It felt like classic material for a Spielberg classic, a large story in a small enviroment, in this case a kid in a large enviroment. And for the first twenty minutes it really works the magic. We get introduced to a timeless[2], hyperreal version of london through which a giant wanders at night. Sophie, an orphan with insomnia spots him during one of his exploits and promptly gets abducted. And that sequence alone is worth the price of admission. The handling of scale, the creativity, tenderness and playfulness with which we see BFG naviagte unseen throught the city and finally shakes off all restraints once he’s reached the outskirts where he puts his physique to use. The uplifting feeling this sequence telegraphes only gets repeated once, when we learn the purpose of BFG’s nighty exploits and he takes Sophie along for preparation.
The rest of the movie feels like….they could have easily rework the script, perhaps give us more background on the giantfolk, instead it follows a certain predetermined path no matter the consequences. And that is sad because it leads to an end that glorifies the benevolence of monarchy towards its subjects, which surely was apporpriate when the book the movie was based in has been published, but could have been handled more gracefully than „send in the troops“.
Dreams are a plot point of this movie, and it does feel like a dream narrative, which i’m sure younger audiences will dig. It just felt a bit to dictated by a third party for me. I guess i was hoping to get this „Spielberg made another movie!“ excitement back.

[1] there is a gun in the videogame Doom that is called BFG 9000, short for Big Fucking Gun
[2] well, not entierly timeless, when the president of the USA gets adressed as „Ronnie“ we could place it between 1981 and 1989


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