I was quite excited to see Simon Pegg in a new movie. After all, he’s starred in two of my all-time favorite comedies, the black humor, quasi-horror flick Shaun of the Dead and the buddy cop parody Hot Fuzz, both of which are brilliant in terms of quirky, smart jokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary. Some folks may not enjoy them as they are…how do you say…”British” funny, which somehow makes even low-brow fart jokes seem refined sometimes.
Run, Fat Boy, Run is the story of Dennis (Simon Pegg), a out-of-shape security guard at a women’s clothing store who, five years ago, left his beautiful, pregnant bride Libby (Thandie Newton) at the altar. Although they remain unmarried, Libby allows Dennis to see their son but wants to personally keep her distance from him. Libby has a new boyfriend, the stereotypically perfect Whit, played by the hilarious Hank Azaria. Whit is some sort of hedge fund manager with a massive penthouse apartment and, much to Dennis’ chagrin, actually quite a nice guy. He even runs marathons for charity.
After screwing up time after time, Dennis attempts to prove to Libby that he isn’t worthless…by running the same 26 miles that Whit will in three weeks. That’s easier said than done. Dennis has a considerable paunch, drinks and smokes like a chimney. He looks considerably winded after chasing a shoplifting drag queen in one of the opening scenes.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to tell. Run, Fat Boy, Run is rather paint-by-numbers and horribly predictable. There’s no surprises anywhere and while a few of the jokes are quite funny, there’s none of hilarity that we saw from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This is probably because those two movies were directed by frequent Pegg collaborator Edgar Wright and Run, Fat Boy, Run was directed by David Schwimmer. Yes, that’s right…it was directed by Ross from Friends. I don’t know about you but I freakin’ hate Ross…that pansy-ass bastard. Yes, I’m aware that Swhwimmer isn’t actually Ross but my hatred for Ross makes that irrelevant.
Dylan Moran from Shaun of the Dead plays the best friend and is quite…strange and funny but the absence of Nick Frost, who is the catalyst to Pegg, is noticeable. Also, look for cameos by British comedy greats David Walliams (of Little Britain) and Stephen Merchant (probably best known as one of the creators of The Office).
I don’t even have that much to say about this movie. It’s not exactly bad but it’s just not as good as many of the other recent comedies and, well, it’s nothing that you haven’t seen before. It’s all rather mediocre and disappointing although it might be worth a rental if you’re bored and have already seen Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
Verdict: 6.0 out of 10