The Big White
In the end this feels like a waste of an excellent cast.
While by no means a disaster, and in places quite funny, 'The Big White' ultimately feels like a pilot for a quirky new version of Northern Exposure. The basic premise - Barnell (Robin Williams) tries to cash in a life policy on his long lost brother, only to be told he can't because the body hasn't been found - sets things up nicely. Stumbling upon a body hidden by two hapless goons (Tim Blake Nelson and W Earl Brown), he steals it intending to commit fraud, and finds himself pursued by determined insurance agent Giovanni Ribisi. There's good stuff here; Williams suits this darker type of character, and Holly Hunter is excellent as his wife. It's all a bit rushed though, with storylines dropped and characters underdeveloped. Much of the enjoyment comes from Nelson as he and his partner kidnap Hunter and blackmail Williams, but in the end this feels like a waste of an excellent cast. [Craig Simpson]