The Big White
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Now Available on Blu-Ray Disc
On the brink of bankruptcy, Alaska travel agent Paul Barnell cooks up a scheme to pass off a dead body as his long-lost brother, Raymond, and then collect on his life insurance. But unfortunately, the investigator isn't buying the scam, the hit men responsible for the body want it back -- so they kidnap Paul's Tourette's afflicted wife -- and, to top it all off, Raymond shows up demanding a piece of action. So much for easy money...
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Paul Barnell (Robin Williams) is a struggling Travel Agent in Alaska, trying to cash in his missing brother's insurance policy to get ahead. When the insurance company denies the claim since there is no body, Paul is worried since he is havily in debt and searching for a cure for his wife's apparent bout with Tourette's Syndrome. Along come a couple of hitmen and dump a body into the dumpster out in front of Paul's failing business. By accident Paul discovers the body and he comes up with a plan. Staging several clues to his missing brother's return, Paul covers the body in bacon and stages a death scene. When the body is discovered, partially eaten by animals, with his brother's identification on it, the insurance must finally pay out. Only several problems, Paul's brother (Woody Harrelson) shows back up. The hitmen come back to retrieve their body. An insurance clerk (Giovanni Ribisi) with a nose for fraud is in the case.
The Big White is entertaining and ridiculous. Holly Hunter is hilarious as the filthy-mouthed wife. Williams is just serious enough here so his performance is more visceral than funny. Overall, like I said before, this feels like a Coen movie. And that's a good thing. It misses here and there but you won't notice much. It will remind you of Fargo. And that is also a good thing. Worth the watch.
Dark and strangely quirky, this movie has some redeeming moments, but doesn't have enough power to carry the plot to a satisfying conclusion. Just OK, not great.