Lily Collins and Simon Pegg star in a film in which Pegg’s character is trapped underground for three decades by a powerful New York politician — surely this is some comic take on Parasite?

Unfortunately not. Collins stars in director Vaughn Stein‘s snoozer as Lauren, a New York City prosecutor and daughter of a famous, recently deceased power broker. Lauren was long neglected by her father, and in his will he leaves her vague video instructions telling her to go digging about in the backyard.

What she finds there is a military-grade cellar (whose provenance is never explained) containing the Pegg-played Morgan. Morgan claims that he was Lauren’s father’s business parter until the latter committed a murder with the former as a witness; as a consequence, he’s been locked underground ever since.

Not to steal Seinfeld‘s thunder, but this is very truly a movie about nothing. It wants to be about the gap between the elite and everyone else (it’s not), it wants to be about separating yourself from your parents’ legacy (it’s not), and it wants to be genuinely engaging (oh boy, it is not). What it ends up being is nearly two hours of pussyfooting on Lauren’s part, engaging with Morgan in the most profoundly illogical ways — all compounded by the sheer absurdity of the film’s premise.

Perhaps the film’s cardinal sin is its extreme self-seriousness. This is a film that wants to make audiences’ hearts pound and brains churn — instead, it made me laugh sometimes (unintentionally, of course). Pegg is so unbelievably miscast here that it makes one wonder if lost bets were involved at some point in the contractual process. The twists, if you can even call them that, are at once extremely uninteresting and patently silly.

If the film has a merit, it’s that it looks pretty good. Unfortunately, the best shots are washed out in offbeat editing and stale performances. What Collins and Pegg, two remarkably talented actors, are doing in this film is utterly beyond me — it’s an uninspired “thriller” that uses deeply serious subjects like rape as nothing more than indicators that the tension has just been ratcheted up a bit more. Everyone involved in the production is both capable and deserving of better work — go watch some of that instead.