Children’s book author Jack (Simon Pegg), has decided to work on something a little more adult, researching various Victorian serial killers. This fills Jack with an extreme amount of fear, eventually leading him to believe that someone is trying to kill him. When his agent informs him that a Hollywood executive is interested in his story and requests a meeting, Jack is forced to confront all his fears in order to make it. That includes a trip to the laundromat where everything begins to unravel.
The only thing I kept thinking throughout this film was how much it reminded me of a Wes Anderson movie, if Wes Anderson filled a movie with serial killers and crazed hedgehogs. The humour is very dry, something that is common with British comedy, and the entire atmosphere is very odd. This isn’t going to be for everybody, but those who can enjoy it, will enjoy it thoroughly.
It’s hard to even really explain this film. It feels a bit like watching a play. There’s a constant narration by Simon Pegg as he explains how he feels and what his character is going through. At first, it can be a bit annoying, but it eventually becomes one of the most funny aspects of the film. There are very few sets, adding to the feeling of the film being a play, and you may wonder if Jack will ever even leave his apartment. He eventually does, having to go to the laundromat, something that causes him great fear and gives the audience some of the best laughs in the film. Getting through the opening scenes of Jack being paranoid in his apartment will reward viewers with some laugh out loud moments.
Pegg is a bit over the top, but it fits with his character, Jack. Since he’s a writer, the film is given a feeling of drama that only a writer could imagine, giving the most meaningless moments a sense of importance. The other characters in the film aren’t quite as good, and don’t receive nearly as much time, but Simon Pegg manages to carry the movie with one of his better performances in recent memory. The film also has a fantastic use of music, tying directly into the attitudes of certain characters. These are also some of the most hilarious moments. Watching Jack try to pump himself up with some gangster rap is awkward, but very funny, and the serial killer in the film manages to have his own theme song, another hilarious moment. It starts off a bit slow, but becomes one of the more funny and quirky films I’ve seen in a long time.
Under the marquee – Will