The Big Thing is a little hard to get your head around. I usually base my world-view around the idea that the Earth was not destroyed before I was born. Of course that might be the point. Look around; perhaps this is a post apocalyptic hellscape and were just not aware it. After all, what do we have to compare it to? Now, you would think that the apocalypse would have been very noticeable, but maybe it just wasnt a big thing.
Beyond murky social criticism, The Big Thing stands out for its beauty. You just dont find production values this high in short films. It won more awards than you can shake a stick at, if you happen to have a heavenly stick, but even among award-winners, this is one good-looking film.
The story as old as time itself: Boy meets girl; boy doesnt lose girl; boy causes the end of the universe. In this case, the boy is an unassuming Antichrist, the girl is a Parisian hooker, and the whole thing is under the control of an angel and the devil. The Archangel Michael (a wanker we are informed) and Lucifer the Angel of Light get together for this unrecorded bit of history in 1889, and share a pint and some good times as they bring about the end of the world as we seem not to have known it. It is not clear if the End of Days is the result of a higher plan or just a bit of ennui, but thats just details. It seems rather important to Michael and Lucifer, two old friends with a job to do, and they are such affable chaps (wanker not withstanding) that it becomes important to the viewer; well, as important as anything is likely to be in this bubbly picture. Andrew Simms and Robin Wilcock are superb as the supernatural creatures on a mission, both greatly aided by witty and occasionally laugh-out-loud dialog. Running a scant 9 minutes, theres no filler here.
The Big Thing was meant to be many things, including a calling card for writer/director Carl Laudan, and while it got his name on most everyones lips in the indie film world, it may be a few more years before he hits the Hollywood A-list. He appeared as a finalist on the ill-fated, film-making, reality TV show, On The Lot before directing a less allegorical feature. Ah well, it is a start, and The Big Thing requires no follow-up.