Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5  
Big Nothing (2006)
15Contains strong language, moderate sex and bloody violence

If a book called Blackmailing For Dummies exists, the hapless heroes of Big Nothing haven't read it. Charlie (David Schwimmer) and Gus (Simon Pegg) are call centre McJobbers who decide to hustle an Oregon preacher for $10,000 over his taste for internet porn. It's a simple plan executed by simpletons; and as the corpses and plot twists pile up, this enjoyably farcical thriller proves Sod's Law of crime comedy: if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Twice.

We know what you're thinking: Schwimmer and Pegg are unlikely comedy Friends. Fact is, it works mainly because Pegg reinvents himself with a not-bad American accent and some truck stop chic. Schwimmer plays yet another variation on the eternally put-upon, slightly priggish Ross - but it's fun to watch him (not) coping as the blackmail gets blacker and the body count mounts. Spicing up the mix is upcoming British actress Alice Eve, making this crime caper three-hitter into 'Bonnie and Clyde and Clyde'.

"SOME TRULY OUTRAGEOUS MOMENTS"

As events spiral out of control - with axe murders, dead deputies and septic tank drownings - the mismatched threesome are trapped on a delirious helter skelter ride. The tone is blackly comic and although several would-be guffaws are stillborn as sniggers, there are some truly outrageous moments (a splitting headache is sure to elicit gasps). Director Jean-Baptiste Andrea (Dead End) plays for keeps, yet fate's against him too: no amount of split-screen can disguise the budget's lack of zeroes, or the bizarre decision to part recreate Oregon on the Isle of Man (we kid you not).

End Credits

Director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea

Writer: Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Billy Asher

Stars: David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg, Alice Eve, Natasha McElhone

Genre: Comedy, Thriller

Length: 85 minutes

Cinema: 01 December 2006

Country: UK

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