Run Fat Boy Run (12A)
Posted by Guest Writer on Tue, 18 Sep 2007.
Starring: Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Dylan Moran, Michael Ian Black, Harish Patel
Synopsis: Five years ago Dennis (Simon Pegg; Shaun of the Dead) was at the altar, about to marry Libby (Thandie Newton; Mission Impossible 2), his pregnant fiancée. He got cold feet and ran for the hills, and he’s been going in circles ever since. When Dennis discovers Libby’s hooked up with high-flying-go-getter Whit (Hank Azaria; The Simpsons), he realises it’s now or never. He enters a marathon to show he’s more than a quitter but then finds out just how much sweat, strain and tears it takes to run for 26 miles. Nobody gives him a chance but Dennis knows this is his only hope to be more than a running joke.
Run Fat Boy Run is a more down to earth comedy than previous films starring Simon Pegg. The humour is more sparing and less slapstick than that of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz and the story is more human.
Directed by ‘Friends’ star, David Schwimmer and written by american writer and comedian Michael Ian Black, this film is surprisingly British and doesn’t succumb to the usual dumbing down or obvious and often inaccurate location shots, intended to help audiences across the pond understand and enjoy a film set anywhere outside of the states. There are some beautiful shots in there that could only come from a real appreciation and understanding of the location, that should earn the director new respect.
Pegg plays his part with all his usual talent for portraying characters who are slightly flawed and confused but generally good at heart and the interaction between him and Matthew Fenton (who plays Dennis and Libby’s five year old son Jake), makes it a very real relationship on screen.
There are some scene stealing performances. Specifically from Dylan Moran (Black Books) playing bedraggled gambler Gordon, and who seems incapable of ever delivering a line that isn’t funny (even without his trousers on), and Harish Patel (Dennis' land lord and spatula wielding trainer), who is just brilliant. I hope we see more of him in the future.
Thandie Newton, although possibly a little too glamorous to be totally believable as the jilted ex, plays it perfectly. And lets face it, if you could get her to play the part you would.
Hank Azaria plays it extremely straight as Dennis' rival, Whit and there are several cameos including David Walliams (Little Britain), Simon Day (The Fast Show) and Stephen Merchant (Extras).
Run Fat Boy Run doesn’t fail to entertain. It’s funny without being an all out gag-fest and touching at times without taking itself too seriously.
4 out of 5.
By Tom Smith