Review by Doug Cooper
Stars Simon Pegg, Amara Karan, Alan Drake, Clare Higgins, Paul Freeman, Golda John, Tuyet Le, Tamzin Griffin, JJ Stanness, Jacqui Chan, Kerry Shale, Michael Feast
Written by Crispian Mills
Certification UK 15
Runtime 100 minutes
Directed by Crispian Mills
Veteran director Billy Wilder once said that movies were like a souffle. Upon completion, they either rise or sink. Poor Crispian Mills' debut effort not only sinks but evaporates. It's a schizophrenic mess that runs out of steam all too quickly despite the valiant efforts of Pegg.
He's a funny guy to be sure, and here playing a paranoid writer holed up in his grungy flat, afraid that everyone is out to murder him, he makes his eccentric character agreeably watchable for about 20 minutes or so. The scene where he goes to a restaurant to have dinner with his agent (Higgins), falling over in fear of the maitre d' is Pegg at his best – he has energy to spare and his manic worry personified by his constantly expressive features are certainly amusing.
But we soon lose patience with him, his relentless narration and the silly plot that unfolds. A long-winded scene in a launderette leads to him and pretty Amara Khan being held captive by a serial killer in the basement. Or do they? Is it all part of his fevered imagination? We're also subjected to a wearying animation episode involving a hedgehog. By this time you'll have given up caring.
The hard work by the cast all go for naught, wasted on a duff script that can't make up its mind what it wants to be. Mills has a certain facility for building mood – an early jolt isn't bad – but it's all too strained and never engaging enough. A sorry misfire overall – dire, demented and debilitating. Avoid.