Best in Show: Minnie Driver
One for the future: Mary McCormack
Stand-out scene: Bridge drop
Brainer or no-brainer: No brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: One
DVD commentary any good?: n/a
Mel Smith is a great comedian, but when called upon to direct feature length comedy the results have been decidedly mixed. His debut The Tall Guy was in my opinion the high point, Bean pulled in the box office moolah worldwide but this and Blackball sunk without trace, despite a top notch cast on both ocassions. From the writer of Spice World, Kim (brother of Simon) Fuller, the screenplay is a rehash of every "inadvertently got embroiled with a criminal plot" story that's ever been committed to celluloid. If you don't count Phantom of the Opera this is the last movie Minnie Driver made in the UK and no wonder it had her heading for the Hollywood Hills tout de suite. Here she plays Shannon, a nurse who at the beginning of the movie breaks up with her artist boyfriend. For his latest installation he's been digitally scanning the airwaves for snippets of telephone conversations and when Shannon and her friend Frances (an aspiring American actress) arrive back at the flat after a boozy night out they overhear a conversation involving the lookout at a bank robbery that's taking place nearby. Noting down the number of the mobile in use, they hotfoot is to the local police station to report what they've learned. The station is in chaos and the duos information isn't followed up. When it emerges that the robbery did indeed take place, rather than alert the constabulary, the two decide to blackmail the robbers into handing over a percentage of the haul to them (as you would, only not). Hilarity (except not) ensues as a series of slapstick scenarios follow, the best of which feature Kevin Eldon and Mark Williams as bungling detectives. Mel Smith was the first choice to direct Wayne's World and if he had maybe he would have a better idea of how to go about putting together a genuinely funny film. A wasted opportunity.