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Big Nothing
cast: Simon Pegg, David Schwimmer, Alice Eve, Natascha McElhone, and Mimi Rogers

director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea

89 minutes (15) 2006
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Pathé DVD Region 2 retail


RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Christopher Teague
There are only two things I don't like about this film, firstly: it is set within Oregon, USA, yet it's obviously filmed in the UK (Isle of Man) with sections in Canada and Wales, bizarrely; and, secondly: Simon Pegg's American accent is extremely distracting, and for an actor who is famously 'British' it does make me wonder the rationale behind such a casting choice. But, bar those gripes, Big Nothing is a very enjoyable, entertaining black comedy where Charlie (David Schwimmer) meets Gus (Pegg) whose get-rich-quick plan goes horribly wrong, especially when the duo are joined by Gus' on/ off girlfriend, Josie (played by Alice Eve, daughter of Trevor - he who likes to shout).

Jean-Baptiste Andrea's previous film - Dead End - displayed a decent knack of producing horror, but with this he shows that he is also adept at directing comedy. I'm not entirely sure if Ealing inspired him, but there is a definite nod to the classics of that particular studio, along with the Coen brothers' Fargo, which is probably its closest spiritual likeness.

The script, co-written with Billy Asher (who makes a brief appearance playing a local police officer), contains a multitude of crosses and double-crosses, and the film bounces along, not overstaying it's brief running time of just under 90 minutes. The supporting cast, featuring Natasha McElhone (who also sports a badly-considered American accent), as Charlie's police officer wife acquit themselves to the task when in all honesty they're playing thinly written two-dimensional characters.

Despite bombing at the box office, this will probably find its home on DVD yet, to be honest with you, if the decision of Pegg's American accent was reversed, and Gus was allowed to be a Limey, then maybe just maybe the film may have been more successful. Well worth watching, even if to catch Mimi Rogers' demise.
NEXT

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