The Big Empty - Press Archive - LA Weekly Review


Source: LA Weekly
Nov 21-27, 2003

Starving actor John Person (Jon Favreau) is holed up in a California desert
town, waiting for a mysterious stranger known as Cowboy (Sean Bean), who’s
supposed to give him 24 grand in exchange for a bright-blue suitcase, contents
unknown. John keeps missing the rendezvous, though, because he’s distracted
by the colorful local citizenry, particularly the voluptuous Ruthie (Rachael Leigh
Cook), her jealous boyfriend (a scene-stealing Adam Beach) and a couple of
sunbaked UFO-conspiracy nuts. Writer-director Steve Anderson, a CNN
cameraman making his feature debut, has a flair for sweet-hearted, love-
starved characters, which may be what convinced reliable vets such as Daryl
Hannah, Bud Cort and Kelsey Grammer to take small roles. More amiable than
laugh-out-loud funny, the film pokes along, buoyed by the motel’s bright
Hawaiian color scheme, and a moonlit desert finale that’s awfully pretty,
even if it doesn’t satisfactorily explain that blue bag. As for Favreau, it’s a
good thing he’s recently hit the big time as a director (Elf), because as an
actor he’s not exactly energizing — John remains a dullard, even after the
blue-bag aliens (or whatever) have infused his inner emptiness with soul.
(Chuck Wilson)


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