Bigga than Ben starts with two self-confessed ‘pieces of Moscow scum’, Spiker (Andrei Chadov) and Cobakka (Ben Barnes), arriving in London with the hope of finding success and riches by scamming the capital.
Within a couple of scenes the pair have embarked on their career of petty crime, managed to defraud a bank and discovered a slum landlord straight out of Coming to America.
The premise offers the opportunity for a biting satire on the issues faced by newcomers to the capital but instead serves up cheap stereotypes and a lazy depiction of an almost unrecognizable London.
Although there are some witty one-liners and the knowing descriptions of common cons are bound to raise a smile, the film is littered with some deeply offensive and racist language. Anyone unlikely to be impressed by lines about ‘smelly’ members of London’s various ethnic communities will probably want to avoid it.
For much of the film the pair seek to blame anyone and everyone else for their inability to make a go of things in the capital and although it finally comes, the realisation that their misfortunes are the result of their own decisions is pretty weak and half-hearted.
Definitely one to miss.
Bigga Than Ben: A Russian’s Guide to Ripping Off is released October 10th