A Fantastic Fear of Everything @ Fantastia

a fantastic fear of everythingWell, I had to assume that my good run at Fantasia had to end eventually.  Too bad it was with a film with a very likeable lead and a neat idea behind it.

Jack (Simon Pegg – Paul, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) decides it is time for a career change, but not a radical one.  He was an author of children’s books and now is attempting to transition into a crime novelist.  As a result of his career change he finds himself having to do a lot of research into the live of Victorian serial killers.  All that research begins to really affect him as he becomes scared of everything and everyone. Jack groundlessly begins to believe that he is going to be murdered himself.  This leads to Jack pretty much isolating himself in his flat.

He is forced out of his safety zone by his agent Clair (Clare Higgins – Hellraiser, The Golden Compass), who tells his he has someone interested in developing his script.  Realizing he cannot leave his filthy flat in the filthy clothes he has been living in, Jack (shudder) has to go to a Laundromat – another one of his phobias.  There he, along with a woman named Sangeet (Amara Khan – The Darjeeling Limited), are kidnapped.

The film looks stunning as there are especially beautiful landscapes of the city of London and nice animated sequences, but if fails almost from the beginning and most of the blame has to be laid at the feet of Crispian Mills’ script.  Most of the beginning of the script features Pegg/Jack wandering fretfully around saying nonsensical things and being basically irritating with his delusions about being murdered. If they were going for quirky humour I would say it was a failure as I did not laugh once.

Then when Jack finally leaves his house and becomes mistaken for a murderer himself (Duh! You’re carrying a knife, you dolt!) and then while instead of simply explaining himself (which to me seems like a simple thing) he just blusters causing no one to believe him.  Then comes a convoluted slasher story and finally (the best part of the film) an attempt at romance between Jack and his fellow captor.  The entire tone of the film is off – from beginning to end. It is not plausible, but believes it is serious.  Plays like it is hysterical when it doesn’t even elicit a chuckle from the viewer.

Then there are moments that racism and misogyny are thrown in to irritate me even more…and Simon Pegg spends most of his time onscreen in the most disgustingly filthy clothes that I couldn’t bear to look after a while…groan!

I have followed and enjoyed Simon Pegg’s career closely up to this point.  Having enjoyed him in Shaun of the Dead, the television series Band of Brothers, Hot Fuzz and most recently Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.  Unfortunately for Pegg he is the focal point of this film and it is pretty awful.  I hope this doesn’t mean that he cannot carry a film.  I think it is just the wrong film for him.  Hopefully this won’t have a lasting negative effect on his career

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