I hate watching a film and thinking “this is a missed opportunity.” Especially when it starts so strongly and clearly has some great talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Huge is perfect example of a wasted opportunity. It has all the potential to tell a great story, something I would have found interesting and could have been told in a professional and realistic way, especially judging on the cameos that appear in this film.
Huge is about two men who decide, after one heckles another during his stand-up act, to become a comedy double-act. They then attempt to write a funny show, find a venue to perform in and the successfully deliver a funny routine. This is where Huge is interesting. When we watch the two comedians trying to become successful, their struggles with finding a venue and writing an act and the devastatingly harsh world of stand-up comedy, we get a glimpse at an interesting part of the British entertainment industry. Unfortunately, this is only part of the film.
For some reason though, the film suddenly seems to jump ahead six months or so, when both of them are moderately successful and look at their life then. It makes little sense and completely ruins the film. We go from the interesting struggles in the comedy business to what how success ruins their friendship. It’s a huge missed opportunity.
What we could have had was a film where we charted the struggles, moderate successes and harsh world of stand-up comedy as the double act try to make it big. The film has support from great comedians who all make their cameos in one scene! Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand, Frank Skinner, David Baddiel, Harry Hill and Jack Dee are just some of the comedians who are in that one scene. Spreading them out across the film and getting some of them to actually interact with the two main characters would have gone some way to creating a film about the comedy industry.
It’s a shame because the beginning of the film, when the characters meet, devise a stand-up routine and then try to find a place to perform is actually done really well and tricked me into thinking that this would be the direction of the film. The movie then seems to rush to the second half really quickly, pigeon-holes in the comedians cameo and a wasted performance by Thandie Newton, and then moves on to its damp, pointless conclusion.
The cameos and Hollywood A-lister aren’t the only wasted talent here. The two main actors, Noel Clarke and Johnny Harris, are brilliant as Warren and Clark and when they perform their stand-up, moments are genuinely funny. Unfortunately, for a film about stand-up, there is very little in this film. It also has support from the likes of Russel Tovey who could be used to much better effect than just an arrogant, nasty boss-figure.
It’s a real shame because when I saw the trailer for Huge and read what it was about, I was really excited about the prospect of a film that showed the difficult world of stand-up comedy and trying to make it in the industry. When you then see a host of experienced comedians, all of which could have given some insight into the industry or have done a random scene or two to add some credibility to the double-acts story, wasted in one scene, the film becomes even more infuriating. I won’t say it very often but this film could have actually done with another half hour or so to pad out what could have been a great story.
Overall, a wasted opportunity. Great actors, a potentially interesting story and some great comedy talent at the disposal of the filmmakers but what is produced is rushed, boring and uninspired. What could have been a great insight into the comedy industry ends up being a muddle of a film that seems to want to make some statement on fame and success but fails.
(1-3 – awful/avoid. 4-6 – average. 7-8 – good. 9-10 – fantastic.)