Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Run, Fat Boy, Run


By Don Hill

For those unfamiliar with the concept of this movie, here it is in a nutshell: a hopelessly out-of-shape man decides to run a marathon in order to compete with a man who is dating his ex-fiancee.  The man, Dennis (played by Simon Pegg), dumped her at the altar on their wedding day and now regrets the decision.  Several years later, however, she has moved on and is dating a new guy and since he runs marathons, it only makes sense that Dennis would run one also in an attempt to win her back.  (It may make more sense in the context of the movie.)

With its decent cast and a promising comedic actor in the lead, this movie should have been better.  I am a huge fan of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and I was hoping this movie would continue that tradition of funny satire.  It did not. 

Run, Fat Boy, Run should have been titled, Do It For the Paycheck, Simon, Do It For the Paycheck.  This is by far the least funny Simon Pegg has been in his career thus far.  There were, thankfully, a few funny moments in the movie, as even a terrible script can't completely make Pegg unfunny.  I do have to give some of the bad credit here to the director, everybody's favorite "Friend," David Schwimmer.  The directing was barely passable and at times monotonous.  Several scenes would have been cut or filmed differently with a competent director.  As it is, it reminds me of a television show with the predictable humor and straightforward style that is common in that medium… and that is not a good reminder.

This is not to say I didn't enjoy the movie.  I did, kind of, but I was thankful that it was fairly short as it suffers from the same illness as many of the SNL skits that have been turned into full-scale movies.  What is funny for five minutes becomes boring when stretched out to ninety.  The final fifteen minutes was not terrible, and that saved the movie from an even lower rating.  I was hoping for a sports themed version of Shaun of the Dead and instead got a sometimes-funny, sometimes-sappy version of a bad Adam Sandler movie.  It isn't completely unenjoyable but it retreads the same humor we have seen dozens of times before.

2 / 5 stars

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