Big Nothing (2006)
Snuff Gets Snuffed
I just drowned a man of the cloth in crap! - Charlie
In "Big Nothing" there is one sex scene, it involves Simon Pegg and Alice Eve as we learn how their characters met and ended up in bed screwing. That is the only screwing of that sort you will find in the movie but you will find a lot of another sort as "Big Nothing" is a black comedy, a farce where things spiral out of control and people screw each over as it gets dafter and crazier. It almost feels like a raw, black comedy version of an Ealing comedy with its storyline of blackmail, murder and mishap and as such it is a lot of fun especially with the unlikely pairing of Simon Pegg and David Schwimmer. But whilst fun "Big Nothing" comes up short as it lacks a sort of finesse to things, as if it had been made cheaply and quickly rather than having had more time spent on ironing out the plot and perfecting the dialogue.
Struggling author and former teacher Charlie Wood (David Schwimmer - Apt Pupil) goes for a job in a call centre where he meets Gus (Simon Pegg - Mission: Impossible III) who is to show him the ropes. Unfortunately Charlie messes up and is fired within hours of starting but feeling bad for him Gus takes Charlie for a drink and offers him a part in his scam. Gus has looked through the computer records of all the clients of the call centre and stumbled across Rev. Smalls who has a penchant for sex websites and Gus plans to blackmail him. Agreeing to be part of it along with Gus's former girlfriend Josie (Alice Eve - She's Out of My League) they set about extorting money from the Rev, but things don't go as planned and spiral completely out of control.
I mentioned Ealing comedies earlier and whilst a very different movie "Big Nothing" sort of reminds of the original "The Ladykillers" in particular the second half where things spiral out of control and each of the characters meet their demise. But in the case of "Big Nothing" it is a variety of people who meet their demise in some darkly funny manners such as one person who was knocked out mistaken for being dead and dumped in a septic tank, weighed down by a giant gnome. And that is by no means the craziest of things which go on as things get dafter and dafter and frankly funnier and funnier.
But this is also where "Big Nothing" is lacking as whilst we get an introduction which sets up how Charlie meets Gus and how Gus knows Josie once they start their scam to extort money from Rev Smalls who has big secrets it becomes a procession of mishaps as one person after another either gets drawn in to the situation or ends up dying in some darkly funny manner. It lacks storyline to stop this just being a movie of daft moments and whilst all these moments, these comedy death scenes are entertaining you begin to lose interest. It is because of this that I wish they had fleshed out the script a bit more so that there was breathing room between all the dark humour.
Now it has to be said that the first time I saw "Big Nothing" I couldn't take to Simon Pegg with an American accent and trucker clothing but he grows on you because frankly Pegg pulls it off and works well with David Schwimmer. I feel for Schwimmer because this was made after "Friends" had finished yet there is so much Ross about Charlie that whilst Charlie is a bit more down beat he feels too familiar. And then there is Alice Eve who compared to Pegg and Schwimmer has boundless energy and delivers some great moments of youthful humour especially when it comes to being brought up to speed on how such and such a person died.
What this all boils down to is that "Big Nothing" is a lot of fun if you enjoy black comedies which have a farcical element of things spiralling out of control. It does feel a bit rushed and ends up feeling like a procession of daftness but it is enjoyable daftness.
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