Crime caper comedy “Big Nothing” is a lot of energy chasing very little. Uneasy performance mix of Yank and British thesps, headed by a dull David Schwimmer and over-amped Simon Pegg (“Shaun of the Dead”), is a big letdown from writer-director Jean-Baptiste Andrea after his inventive 2003 low-budgeter “Dead End.” Wordy script and desperate-to-entertain tone quickly pall. Pic crashed and burned on Dec. 1 release in Blighty, though ancillary afterlife could be respectable.
Set in Big Falls, Ore. — but actually shot in B.C., Wales and the Isle of Man — yarn pairs call-center colleagues Charlie (Schwimmer) and Gus (Pegg), joined by pushy diner chick Josie (Alice Eve, good), as they blackmail a local reverend for accessing porn Web sites. A long night of mayhem ensues as the bodies mount (Mimi Rogers’ cameo is a collector’s item) and a sleazy FBI agent (Jon Polito) and Charlie’s cop wife (Natascha McElhone) get involved. Andrea’s maxed-out visual style is totally at odds with the basic material, which is actually a low-key character comedy. Despite some clever plot twists, wearying result feels as phony as Pegg’s and McElhone’s Yank accents.