A Fantastic Fear of Everything
“I feel as though being part of a television sitcom (like Spaced) restricts you to the point where you end up being remembered for one singular role, rather than showing what else you can do.”
It has been thirteen long years since we saw Simon Pegg in British sitcom Spaced and, since then, the relationship created with co-star and best friend Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright has gone from strength to strength. Beginning with Shaun of the Dead back in 2004, Pegg has rarely been able to detach himself from Frost and Wright, that is until now…
After his success over the pond alongside Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible franchise and Sigourney Weaver in Paul, Pegg is back on home ground with new film A Fantastic Fear of Everything. The main worry we had before going to see this film was that the Simon Pegg we know and love had been lost somewhere amongst the glitz and glamour of tinsel town. This is his first film where he drives completely alone and with only an acting credit to the film (Pegg took a backseat in the writing and directing), this film is without nerdy references and that dry British humour that made Hot Fuzz and Paul so successful over here.
The effervescent frontman of rock band Kula Shaker and also a close friend of Pegg’s wife, Crispian Mills takes the helm at directing what is a well thought out but not entirely well-delivered piece of comedy. After securing a meeting with a top Hollywood executive about possibly turning one of his stories into a film, children’s author Jack suddenly develops an extreme bout of fear after incurring an irrational interest in Victorian serial killers. When this fear extends to being unable to go to his nearest laundrette, the question is: will Jack make it in time to meet the Hollywood executive?
Like the annoying eyelash that permanently embeds itself in the deepest corners of your eye, we tried in vain to stop wishing Nick Frost would pop out and save the day through the entirety of the film. It was unsettling to say the least, but we were able to subside the pain and can confidently say that this was a clever little piece carried well by Pegg and his supporting cast.
After such a solid career with Frost that brought them both four fairly successful films and one gem of a television show, A Fantastic Fear of Everything falls a little flat and by the end, the film teeters off in a way to say, “OK, we know this isn’t great but there we go!” – which is wholly disappointing.
Having said all that, the film begins very well with a method performance from Pegg running around in his pants and some refreshing animation that was added by co-director Chris Hopewell. However, it doesn’t have a strong enough backbone and, with that, it crumbles under the pressure. You do see Pegg in a different light in this film so he achieves his wish of wanting to become and look more versatile. But it is not and will not be his best.
Read our interview with Simon Pegg here.
Watch the trailer for A Fantastic Fear of Everything here: