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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2008
Run Fatboy Run is a funny movie, but it's predictable. It's a low brow romantic comedy that has two of the funniest comics working in showbiz today. While Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz are riddled with intuitive humor and cultural gags, Run Fatboy Run hits the low road with slapstick humor. That's not a bad thing - not always anyway.

Simon Pegg plays a man who we see leave his bride to be at the altar - pregnant. Years later, the out of shape Pegg is working as a security guard, sharing visits of his son with his ex, played by Thandie Newton. Pegg finds that his ex is seeing Hank Azaria, a high achieving American who runs marathons. To prove he can rise to the challenge, Pegg tries out for the marathon.

Run Fatboy Run is a fairly formulaic comedy yarn. Most of the comedy in the film comes from interactiong between Pegg and Dylan Moran, who plays Pegg's down and out friend. Moran tries to prep Pegg for the marathon. There is often a lot of physical slapstick humor, such as the now infamous blister gag. It's not as sharp witted as were used to seeing from Pegg. The reason it often works is because of the comedic timing of the two talented comedians' delivery.

Not to be outdone is Hank Azaria, of Simpsons fame. He has fun with his role, especially as he starts to drill into Pegg's character, trying to disgrace him. He's fun to watch, especially as he gets a little physical with Pegg.

The highlight of the film maybe the marathon itself. Having endured Pegg's trials throughout the film, you can't help but root him on. This is the core of the film, even if it some of it seems predictable. I felt somewhat unfulfilled at the end, maybe because of my expectations for Pegg. Take it for what it is, though. It's fun and cute. The characters aren't nearly as interesting as they could be and the humor's on the low side, but Run Fatboy Run is definitely worth at least one watch, but don't expect the returns you get from Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead.
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on 13 April 2010
Because of Simon Pegg's name, this film is often bracketed with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, both of them descendants of Spaced, the 1999 sci-com that made Pegg a name to conjure with. But it doesn't belong in that bracket at all. It's just a Hollywood movie following Hollywood rules. Loser redeems himself and wins through against all odds, getting the girl with a sprint finish - that's it, that's the film. Hurrah! It makes Pegg the 73rd British comic actor since John Cleese to wake up one day and find himself famous in America, and then immediately go there, either mentally or physically. At that point they become instantly less funny, make loads of formulaic movies, and end up playing butlers. Gervais is already lost, and Pegg is probably lost, because it seems they never learn from their forebears. Nothing kills a British comic more effectively than being a household name in America.

But nothing with Dylan Moran in it could be complete rubbish, and the scenes with him and Pegg are funny. There is also at least one funny line. Having abandoned his marathon training, and his diet, the Pegg character is pigging out in a caff, where he's arguing with the girl he will eventually win: "Don't come down here, when I'm eating my full English breakfast, with extra breakfast, and expect me to..." That one at least is worthy of Spaced. There might be others that I missed while my mind was switched off, which it was most of the time. The DVD might be worth renting just for a few moments like that, but don't buy it.
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on 1 January 2010
This film had been sitting in my 'to watch' DVD pile for a while. After viewing the dire 'Four Christmases' (see separate review) a few nights previously, I was dubious about sitting through another 'comedy', but with nothing else to do at 1am on New Years Day (!), I decided to stick it on. To my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be much better than I initially expected.

The basic premise is that Pegg is a well-meaning loser, who five years previously (literally) ran away from his wedding to his pregnant fiancé (Thandie Newton). Now, she's hooked up with oh-too-perfect Hank Azaria. Learning that Azaria is to run an upcoming marathon, Pegg insists that he too will run the marathon, in a bid to woo Newton back.

This film seems to have had a lot of criticisms in that it is not like Pegg's previous modern classic, 'Shaun of the Dead', and its (underrated) follow-up 'Hot Fuzz', which in turn were natural successors to TV's wonderful 'Spaced'. Well, I won't pretend for a moment that 'Fat Boy...' is anywhere on the same level of those wonderful, reference-laden offerings. BUT - it doesn't pretend to be. This is a totally different kind of story, a slightly gentler, character-based tale. Besides, wouldn't it be boring if Pegg did exactly the same kind of film all the time?!

The cast generally do well. I couldn't really warm to Newton's character, but there was enough else going on for this not to matter too much. Azaria (in case you can't place him, amongst various film roles, he does a lot of 'Simpsons' voices) isn't really in one of his best roles, but gets the job done. Although I liked 'Black Books', I've never really been a fan of Dylan Moran (who appeared with Pegg in 'Shaun of the Dead'), I generally find him too shouty; but here I actually found him quite amusing, and would say this is one of his better roles. But the highlight of the main cast, for me, is Harish Patel, as Pegg's landlord-come-trainer. Patel is great fun, and lights up every scene he appears in.

The direction is handled ably by David Schwimmer (who Pegg starred alongside in 2006's 'Big Nothing', which I would recommend if you like your comedy very black and with a lot twists). Only at a few points in the middle do things start to sag slightly, but thankfully they soon pick themselves up again. About fifty minutes in, the story does turn into more of a comedy-drama (which is why some may be against this film), but things still proceed along nicely. There are few real surprises in the plot, but even so, I did find the climatic scenes pleasing.

There are also a number of cameos to look out for, including David Walliams (as a very similar character to his Mr. Mann persona in 'Little Britain'), and Ricky Gervais' associate Stephen Merchant, to name but two. But an unexpected highlight for me was to spot children's TV legend Floella Benjamin as Newton's mother. She only has a couple of lines and appears only briefly, but I wish they had utilised her more!

The comedy is generally more straightforward than say, 'Shaun...', but there are still some good moments. However, I did feel that it couldn't always decide on the type of comedy it was going for - prime example being Moran piercing a truly massive blister on Pegg'' foot, causing it to squirt everywhere (leading to several off-colour remarks). Fairly amusing, but I found this sort of humour to be out of kilter with the film's general tone.

Although not a solid classic - maybe it would have fared better as a TV movie - I still really enjoyed this film, and give it a decent four stars. Pegg and Nick Frost are returning in the forthcoming 'The World's End' - but in the meantime, don't limit yourself, give some of Pegg's different kinds of comedy, such as this, a try.
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on 1 April 2016
as a runner myself it was clear to me he couldnt run the full marathon with his stop start training when you need serious dedication but that is me being a bit of a bell i suppose, the film will teach you little about that but it demonstrates heart and conviction and you need that at least, for more than running i might add which is the point i guess.
It can be generic in parts but is a likeable film and pegg and his supporting cast are all pretty good but it didnt blow me away
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on 10 November 2007
If you're a fan of Simon Pegg, chances are you will enjoy this film. He plays a loveable loser ably assisted by fine cast, including Dylan Moran. It's not an overly slick film, but it does hang together nicely. The story is good and the comedy is gentle but consistent. There are quite a few laugh out loud scenes, but it is not in the same league as other Pegg productions.

A good choice for a quiet night in.
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on 22 April 2008
This has big American influences in it; it is sugary where other films with Pegg (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) are clearly superior, both in contect and direction. That said, if it is a drizzly Sunday afternoon, you could do a lot worse than Run Fat Boy, Run. It doe contain some funny moments, has the wonderful Dylan Moran playing his usual character (I'm still not bored with it, but one wonders what he'll do next) and it has some heart warming moments, even if they are served up in an American style with a side order of Soupy-schmatzyness. I'm not knocking our American cousins, they too make great films, but sometimes mixing styles doesn't work. It does here, but only just. Where was the fat boy though? Pegg is not a fat fellow, and sticking his stomach out for the first half of the film until he trains is a bit feeble. If you want to see him slightly more overweight, buy 'Hippies', when he was a good deal chunkier! A good 'stitch your brain off' film, it is not one of his greatest, simply becuase his greater films are superb.
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on 24 February 2008
On the whole I think Simon Pegg's stuff is usually pretty decent - Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were all great. This isn't quite that good but it's definately funny. I think the people giving this movie 1 star are maybe taking it a bit seriously...come on, it's called Run, Fat Boy, Run it's obviously a pretty light hearted affair and no one is trying to win any oscars here. OK so the story has more holes in it than one of my old socks and it's not exactly subtle but if you're in the mood for some easy going entertainment and your brain is asleep then I think you'll enjoy this.
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on 27 November 2008
I watched this on a long plane flight, and not being one to be normally captured long enough to watch movies, I enjoyed this from start to finish.

Light hearted, funny and easy watching comedy with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Why compare to other movies? Just enjoy this for what it is.... boyish humour with a twist of love interest!

Great!
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If you're fortunate (or not so fortunate) enough to begin watching a film with Simon Pegg in it, then the chances are you're in for one of two things. A cheap laugh, or no laugh at all.

'Run, Fat Boy, Run', possibly one of the more unoriginal film titles of 2007, seems to fall into the cheap laugh category, saving what is already a dire concept for a film into something that just about provokes a chuckle every 10 minutes, at least. Whereas some of Pegg's more distinguished outings such as 'Hot Fuzz' have a genuinely good plot and script, 'R.F.B.R' has neither. And I haven't even touched on the acting.

Someone, somewhere along the line, decided that Hank Azaria (voice-actor for The Simpsons cartoon) would be a good choice for Peggs opponent in this wishy washy outing, yet it only proves that Azaria belongs in a small sound-booth for a reason. Pegg on the other hand plays an individual with about as much character as... well, most of his other past characters. A brief history lesson at the beginning suggests that he ditched his wife-to-be because he got scared, but to add insult, she was pregnant with his child. Several years later and she has moved on with her son, miraculously falling in love with our good friend Azaria, who also very appropriately for the lady has biceps that could crush a mans head in seconds.

The predictable storyline is wetter than Hugh Grant trying to behave 'charming' (when he's not stumbling over things and trying to appear comical), and left nothing to be desired by the end. Aside from the handful of moments when I genuinely did emit the sound of laughter (such as Pegg being offered talc in the changing rooms), this is "yet" another completely forgettable romp from an already lengthy list of others from last decade.
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on 31 January 2010
I picked this film out for a cheap laugh as it was in the special offers in my local supermarket, not expecting it to be much good. I was pleasently surprised! It is a really well thought out film and i thoroughly enjoyed it! I really recommend!
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