Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Run, Fat Boy, Run

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Simon Pegg as Dennis Doyle
Thandie Newton as Elizabeth Olivia 'Libby' Odell
Hank Azaria as Whit
Dylan Moran as Gordon
Harish Patel as Ghoshadi Das
India de Beaufort as Maya G. Das
Matthew Fenton as Jake
Simon Day as Vincent
Ruth Sheen as Claudine
Tyrone Huggins as Grover
Nevan Finegan as Mickey
Iddo Goldberg as News Reporter
Ameet Chana as Taxi Driver
Chris Hollins as Himself
Denise Lewis as Herself

Special Features:
Audio commentary by Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Gill Pegg (Simon's mom) & director David Schwimmer
Deleted scenes
Thandie's Goof
Includes both Widescreen & Full Screen versions of the film!
Interactive menus
Outtakes
Theatrical trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 100 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the official description of the DVD:

"It's the London Marathon, and thousands of feet pound along the Thames Embankment. Two of those feet belong to out-of-shape, out-of-luck Dennis Doyle. He's running to gain the respect (and hopefully, the love) of Libby, the girl he left pregnant and heartbroken at the altar five years earlier. And running alongside Dennis is Libby's handsome, successful, self-confident and very fit new boyfriend.

Simon Pegg ('Hot Fuzz'), Thandie Newton ('Crash') and Hank Azaria ('The Simpsons') star in a runaway laughfest from debuting director David Schwimmer ('Friends'). Can Dennis win back what he lost by lacing up some hi-tech footwear? One thing's for sure: He's putting his heart and soles into the attempt. "

"Run, Fat Boy, Run" is rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking.

Mini-Review:
I really wanted to like "Run, Fat Boy, Run." I'm a big fan of Simon Pegg from "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz." I was also looking forward to seeing David Schwimmer's directorial debut. But the end result was just 'eh'. I only found myself laughing once or twice during the entire 100 minute running time. The story was also un-engaging and something we've seen many times in the past. How many movies have a plot about an irresponsible man competing with a seemingly perfect rival to win back the heart of his ex-girlfriend/wife? And with the help of a cute kid? That seems to describe everything from "The Santa Clause" to "Mrs. Doubtfire."

One of the major missteps of the film is that it starts out by making Simon Pegg's Dennis unlikable in the first few minutes. What kind of loser bails out on someone that looks like Thandie Newton, especially when she's pregnant? It's awfully hard to sympathize or relate to him. He's an idiot. He doesn't do much to change that assessment through the course of the film. In fact, you start wondering what someone successful like Newton would see in him in the first place. And while Pegg is charming and adds a lot of his personal touches to Dennis, it's not enough. In fact, at times he feels miscast in the role. If Pegg is considered a 'fatboy', then I wonder what they consider skinny.

The supporting cast is pretty good. Thandie Newton handles comedy well. Harish Patel ends up being a breakout character as Ghoshadi Das, Dennis' landlord. He earns a lot of laughs and even earned himself a spot on the DVD cover. India de Beaufort, who plays his daughter Maya G. Das, is amazingly beautiful. There are some impressive genetic shenanigans going on there, I suppose. Dylan Moran also gets a lot of laughs as the friend Gordon, but poor Hank Azaria is stuck in an unenviable position as Whit. If he wins the heart of Newton, he's the villain. If he does something jerky to clear the way for Dennis, he's still the villain. It's a no-win situation for him.

I do have to give them points for one of my few laughs of the film. Newton's character yells up to the little boy, "Are you ready to go?" The camera pulls back to show the boy wearing nothing but underwear, wearing Hobbit ears, and holding a Sting sword while being mesmerized by the TV. "Yes!" he absentmindedly replies. They win geek points for the "Lord of the Rings" reference and points from me as a parent who has dealt with similar situations trying to get kids out the door.

If you're looking for a light, though unoriginal comedy, then I think you'll find "Run, Fat Boy, Run" to be worth checking out. Fans of Simon Pegg will also probably be more forgiving of the film's faults. It's a decent directorial debut for David Schwimmer, but it could have been better.

You'll find a minimal number of bonus features on this DVD. There are a few deleted scenes which don't offer much new, outtakes, and trailers. There's also a unique commentary featuring Schwimmer, Pegg, Newton, and Simon Pegg's mother. Yes you read that correctly. There's also "Thandie's Goof" which shows her playing a practical joke on Pegg by switching his water with vodka during an interview.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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