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Big Nothing

Film Four Stars

Apparently this film hasn't been doing too well in the UK Box Office on its release, but then it hasn't been out for a week yet, it only has a UK release, and to be honest the advertising for the film has been pretty poor. That's a real shame because the film not only sports a strong cast, but is also a good film that doesn't follow your standard Hollywood cliché's, in fact it seems to deliberately avoid them.

The story is about Charlie, played by David Schwimmer, who has had enough of being unemployed and relying on his wife, Natasha McElhone, to earn enough from her job as the local Sherriff to look after the family. So he sets out to find a job, and in doing so meets Gus, played by Simon Pegg, who lets him in on his little scheme. Unfortunately Gus' ex-girlfriend played by Alice Eve also gets involved. From then on things go wrong at every possible moment and everyone's plans fall apart.

Huge thanks to Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema once again for helping us out with these reviews. They are doing Filmstalker a great service, and they do great hotdogs too!

The first thing you really notice is Schwimmer managing to pull away from Ross, as let's face it that character has dogged him for a very long time, and although some of the nervous movements are still there, he does a great job of being a real person and dropping the person we all assume he really is.

Apart from the odd Ross type snort, Schwimmer is surprisingly good and matched by both Pegg and Eve, they all appear natural and their timing is spot on. Pegg is good, although it is fair to say he's playing a similar character to that of Shaun in Shaun of the Dead, if slightly darker and a little more on the evil side to Shaun.

I'm pretty sure I recognised Eve from television but never really saw her acting ability, here she fits in perfectly with Pegg and Schwimmer standing toe to toe with them. There's also a couple of great cameos from Mimi Rogers and Jon Polito.

They are helped by a clever script and good direction that keeps the pace of the story going and turning on every straight and passing by every corner.

The story is slow to start and initially seems quite thin to begin with, pretty standard stuff really, but then the first little twist comes, and then it turns again, and then another, and another, and before you know it there's knot upon knot and the plot is becoming increasingly twisted.

It's a very good dark thriller that has some comedy in it. I wouldn't exactly call it an all out comedy because the humour isn't laugh out loud, it's darkly amusing, although there are a few laugh out loud moments.

This is the biggest strength of the film, the fact that it's more of a dark thriller with comic elements, and the thriller threads are the more attractive and overpowering part of the story. The fact that these don't follow convention and become twisted when you don't expect them and turn upon themselves again and again, just make it all the better.

The style is apparent through the film, but kept in the background except for a few moments when split screen or hand drawn effects appear, and when they do come to the fore they are a welcome addition, and never overpowering the story.

A strong and unusual soundtrack also features in the film, and although at times when the tracks first kick in you are a little surprised, it does fit well with the overall dark tone of the film and changes in pace and direction.

There's something about the film though that didn't totally grab me, perhaps it was the slow start, I'm not entirely sure. As the story became more twisted, the characters richer, and the tale followed the less trodden path, I was actually drawn more and more into the story. I wish this had happened a little earlier in the film because when I was drawn to it I was really enjoying it.

Oh, and stay until the end, there are two outtakes shown during the credits that are rather funny in themselves, with perhaps the best movie mistake I've ever seen.


Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal Vue Cinema
UK IMDB Film details
Film Official Site


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