Tuesday 28 August 2012

Review: Keith Lemon The Film

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Keith Lemon: The Film poster

Keith Lemon: The Film
85 mins / Dir. Paul Angunawela

Okay. This…

I mean, it looks alright, doesn't it? Y'know. Alright..? It's not.

This is the third attempt at my review of Keith Lemon: The FIlm. I tried a lengthy description of where I think it's failing as a big-screen adaptation of a televisual vehicle, but I was getting too bogged down in the details. Next, I tried addressing those points in the form of a fictional/hypohetical scripted meeting between LionsGate Entertainment executives, writer Leigh Francis and director Paul Angunawela, but again the pithy observations I was wanting to make were hamstrung by needing to make Leigh and Paul defend their project to the point where it gets greenlit. I can't imagine how they did it.

In other words, I've already spent more time on this review than they did on the screenplay. So, back to my usual review format. I'll try and keep it brief.

The Plot: There isn't one. Some bollocks about mobile phones, but it's very loosely strung together. A series of sketches, with an interweaving narrative that makes no sense, even within the confines of a borderline-surreal story. Leigh Francis knows some famous people, you will see them in this.

The Good: I did laugh, albeit semi-regularly, and albeit often at the absurdity of what I was seeing rather than the jokes indicated in the script. This would have made a passable Christmas TV Special (by which I mean that if you made it an hour's air-time, subtracted advert-time from that, you'd be left with 42 minutes of celebrity-infused set-pieces with an overriding narrative that's ripped off from a Christmas movie anyway. Bung it on ITV2 at 10pm on December 23rd, and it'd be perfectly acceptable.) Oh, and Kelly Brook's in it, if that's your thing. And trust me, LionsGate have distributed this with the sincere, desperate hope that that's your thing.

The Bad: In its current format, it is not acceptable. There's enough swearing and crudeness to earn an edgy 15 Certificate, Leigh Francis deftly inserts all of his characters to date into the film hoping audience recognition will be an adequate substitute for a screenplay, and there's a subplot about mobile phones that's like satire for Nuts and Zoo readers. When it's not beating you round the head with cock-jokes (even Brook looks embarrassed to be there half the time), it's baffling you with how little effort it's making to be A Film. And yes, I'm aware that this could indeed be the real joke here, but it's a joke that holds its own audience in absolute contempt.

The worst thing is, I liked Francis' work up until Keith Lemon. I think he's a weak character, comedically, and leaning on appearances from Cotton/Willoughby/Bunton etc just reinforces how little he has to offer. But the laughs I had, actually came from Lemon (and no-one else). The funniest thing in the film is a character I don't particularly like. If Francis had ramped up the surreal qualities of his universe, this could have been a lot more fun to watch (or indeed, 'clevererer' haha I made a joke). As it stands, you'll be seeing the DVDs of this movie in charity-shops for a long time to come…




• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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