Run, Fatboy, Run DVD: Review By Brian Gallagher

Run Fatboy Run is something you should surely run out to see. This is simply a terrific comedy that will tear at your heartstrings just as much as it will tickle your funny bone.
  • Feature
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  • Sound
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
A wonderfully put-together picture with a perfect blend of comedy, drama and exceptional performances from Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and, literally, everyone else.
Hank Azaria's character (not performance) is pretty predictable here and there aren't a ton of special features.
I've come to enjoy the comedy stylings of that zany Brit Simon Pegg in the last few years. While I did enjoy Shawn of the Dead, I enjoyed Hot Fuzz even more, along with his smaller roles in films like Mission: Impossible III and he'll only be getting bigger with his role as Scotty in J.J. Abrams new Star Trek venture and Steven Spielberg's Tintin, alongside his acting partner in crime, Nick Frost. Run Fatboy Run marks a very different film for Pegg, as he's collaborating with entirely different people, but the result is just as hilarious as previous outings, but with actually much more substance to boot.

Like Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg co-writes and stars, as usual, but he's co-writing with American comic Michael Ian Black and directed by first-time-director, longtime Friend David Schwimmer, instead of his trusty director from Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright. We also get an eclectic mix of supporting actors with fellow (gorgeous) Brits Thandie Newton and India de Beaufort, American Hank Azaria, Indian Harish Patel and Irish comedian Dylan Moran. It's this wonderful mix of talent both behind and in front of the camera that only adds to the natural and surprising charm of this story.

Pegg stars as Dennis Doyle, a lowly security guard at a women's clothing store, who has been in a rut for the past, oh, five years or so. We open the film then, just before Dennis is about to marry Libby O'Dell (Thandie Newton). She's beautiful, successful and pregnant with their first child... but, Dennis, in a state of panic, flees the scene right before the ceremony is about to start, starting a long string of running away from the problems in his life. While he regrets that mistake every day of his life, he still can't get through to her and, when he discovers she has a new beau in the dashing Whit (Hank Azaria), and finds out how perfect he appears to be, Dennis decides to step it up a notch. Despite being a terribly out of shape smoker, he tries to convince Libby he can change by running the marathon that Whit is running, the Nike River Run. Coached by his trusted friend and degenerate gambler Gordon (Dylan Moran), who is also Libby's cousin, and his bizarre landlord Mr. Goshdashtidar (Harish Patel), Dennis sets off to "train" for what will end up being the most grueling thing he's ever endured.

What really amazed me about this film is how effectively it manages to balance the wonderful comedy with this more serious story of a man trying to win back the woman he left at the altar (while she was pregnant) and be a man his son can look up to... all while trying to get into physical shape to actually run a marathon. They really do cram a lot of material in this 100-minute movie, with each character, no matter how minor, getting a chance to shine just as much as the main players. This is one of those rare films where everyone, even the bit players, brought something unique and special to the table, and was showcased appropriately... even though I would've loved to see more of the stunning India de Beaufort, who plays Pegg's scantily-clad but ruthless landlady and daughter of Mr. Goshdashtidar. I honestly enjoyed every performance here - from Dylan Moran's hilariously quirky performance as Gordon, to the lovely Thandie Newton who delivers one of her better performances in recent years, to Hank Azaria, Harish Patel and even the guy at Libby's hugely-popular bakery who is devastated they don't have Easter Bunny cookies. They all delivered in superb fashion.

Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg's script, based off Ian Black's original script (which was originally set in Los Angeles before Pegg and his company came on board), is chocked full of some wonderfully hilarious moments that show just how deft of a comedian Pegg is, but it also broadens his horizons more and gives him a chance to showcase more depth and range, which he pulls off incredibly well. We hardly get to see a serious side to Pegg in his films, but this shows that he's fully capable of bringing that out in rather convincing fashion. My only beef with the entire film is that Hank Azaria, while he did deliver a fine performance, his character was rather predictable in guy-trying-to-get-the-girl-back scenarios, but it was a necessary evil to have, I guess. Still, Black and Pegg do prove to me a formidable writing duo, with their abilities to deftly blend the humor and the drama, and I hope that we get to see them team up again.

What might also surprise you is that a longtime TV Friend is making his feature directorial debut here, David Schwimmer, who harvested a longtime friendship with Pegg whilst working on Band of Brothers and other projects. He deserves a lot of credit here as well in bringing out this side in Pegg we haven't seen before and he shows that he could really have quite a career ahead of him as a director. He has great timing, transitions and the film is paced incredibly well, especially with so much material we're given.

Overall, Run Fatboy Run is something you should surely run out to see. This is simply a terrific comedy that will tear at your heartstrings just as much as it will tickle your funny bone.
Sadly we don't get a ton here, but we're started out here with some Deleted Scenes. We get 14 deleted scenes in all, that you can watch with or without commentary from director David Schwimmer, but all of them but one are worth watching. They're altogether about 8 minutes long and the only one that I thought should've been in the film was "That Was There When I Woke Up," which is watchable for a few reasons. One reason is it's a nifty little scene between Pegg and the incredibly lovely India de Beaufort, where she tricks/blackmails Dennis with the Polaroid early on in the movie, and it sets up nicely the little trickery she pulls towards the end. The other reason is... well, we get to see more of India de Beaufort. Damn... Oh, um, anyway, I wouldn't bother with the rest of them because they're pretty short and pointless scenes.

Outtakes are next and we get an interesting mix of straight-up outtakes and a lot of just some nice candid shots on the set. They aren't incredulously funny, but we get some pretty good glimpses behind-the-scenes and some nice outtakes as well in this six-minute blurb.

The last feature we get, besides some Trailers and Sneak Peeks, is Thandie's Goof, and it shows how much of a practical joker Thandie Newton really is. It's a three-minute video during one of the press junkets for the film, where they're getting Simon Pegg's makeup all done. Pegg pours a glass of water from a bottle nearby... only to discover that it's vodka. When he goes to try the other bottle, that's vodka too. It's pretty damn funny and he spills about a few other practical jokes that Thandie had pulled on Pegg during the shoot. It's a short little video, but a very nice way to end out the special features.
You can view the film in either the widescreen format, enhanced for widescreen 16x9 televisions, or the fullscreen format, in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
You get a choice with the sound as well, with either the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound format or the Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround Stereo format.
Not too shabby here. The front features the title card, a nice critic's quote and a shot of Pegg in his jogging attire... complete with the National Erectile Disfunction Awareness shirt, with Newton in her wedding dress to his left in the background and Patel on his scooter to Pegg's right in the background. The back has another critic quote, a solid synopsis, nice special features listing, a few random pics from the film along with the billing block and tech specs. Decent work here.
Run, Fatboy, Run is definitely hilarious, but surprisingly deep with some genuine charm and even poignancy as well. It will split your sides with laughs but it'll also warm your heart and this film is a definite all-around winner.

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Comments (1)

  1. The Dark Knight

    great review man I enjoyed this movie a lot

    6 years agoby @thedarkknight23Flag