Monday, 24 August 2015

Review: The Bad Education Movie

Note: After recent cinematic abominations like Pixels, Fantastic Four and The Gallows, it occurred to me, sitting through its excruciating trailer too many times recently, that going to see The Bad Education Movie with the express intention of tearing it a new arsehole was somewhat akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Using a blunderbuss. With that in mind, the stream of consciousness that follows only reflects the positive aspects I found in the film; what it does right, what it does well, and where it's surprising. The overall rating and seven-question roundup, however, will still be succinctly honest.
This review is in no way my entire, unadulterated opinion on The Bad Education Movie, as I'm fairly certain that other media outlets will decide upon it, showing no such restraint.

I should also point out that this burst of uncharacteristic positivity does not represent either a fondness for the original TV series, its performers or creators. It is for no other reason than being a self-imposed writing challenge. After all, seeing the best in films and prompting me to write regularly were the two goals which started me reviewing in the first place...

World of Blackout Film Review

The Bad Education Movie Poster

The Bad Education Movie
Cert: 15 / 91 mins / Dir. Elliot Hegarty / Trailer

Using the template which worked so successfully for The Inbetweeners Movie(s), The Bad Education Movie is a big-screen spin-off of a 3-series TV sitcom set in a school, which has been released around the time that exam-results are landing on doormats, with ramped up profanity and a 15-Certificate to suit. The film's roster incorporates all of the mainstays from the TV iteration, and places them into an out-of-school environment, utilising their already-laid character foundations in a wider arena not possible in a 29 minute runtime.
Basically, 'Holiday On The Buses', for teenagers.

That such a format has been used so widely before (and with TV adaptations of Keith Lemon, Alan Partridge and Mrs Brown's Boys setting a recent-years precedent for the Summer months) does little to harm the film, and if anything adds The Bad Education Movie firmly and comfortably to that pantheon. Fans of the show won't be disappointed, as this is really just an extended episode with larger sets and on a bigger screen.

The school-outing to Cornwall is ideal for the exercise, as cinematographer Pete Rowe gets to take in some of the gorgeous coastal scenery to widen the scope. The change of setting also allows for an impressive supporting cast of British comedy and character actors, usually reserved for the small screen. Things never get overcrowded (and there are no stunt-cameos), but the roles which do exist have been cast wisely.

With an end-result which is (tellingly) reminiscent of The Inbetweeners mixed with Hot Fuzz and a smattering of The Mighty Boosh, The Bad Education Movie is a film which knows its audience and plays proudly to them, bringing a narrative-closure to the TV show that couldn't have been achieved on the small-screen.

^^ Everything I have said above is genuine ^^
However, the positivity exercise ends at that line. Readers who think that Bad Education sounds like a reasonable adaptation may want to stop now and visit a cinema of their choice.
For everyone else, highlight-to-read…

Is this film worth paying £10+ to see?
Oh, of course not. It's tawdry, patronising, resolutely unfunny, and absolute shite.
The film's jokes are based around AR-glasses, prosthetic testicles, and "the Cornish being a bit weird"…

Well, I don't like the cinema. Buy it, rent it, or wait for it to be on telly?
When this is on TV (in less than a year), you'll be able to claim a partial rebate on your TV licence…

Does this film represent the best work of the leading performer(s)?
Yes. A film's script in which 'retarded', 'bitch' and 'rape' are used in their colloquially-insulting terms; a film in which a man swallows a purportedly sacred foreskin for comedic purposes; a film in which a woman's drink is spiked with laxatives for comedic purposes; a film in which the only apparent purpose for the character in a wheelchair is to fall out of the wheelchair for comedic purposes*1; a film in which the lead character has his trousers pulled down and genitals exposed for comedic purposes - twice… this represents the best work of Jack Whitehall. Yes.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
It actually does, so low are its standards.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Somehow, I probably won't.

Oh, and is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't, but there are at least two scenes where you'd expect to hear one.
There's a boot-shot involving a chest/crate; that's yer lot

…but what's the Star Wars connection?
The film stars (inexplicably) Clarke Peters, who also appeared in 1981's Silver Dream Racer, as did Richard 'Admiral Motti' LeParmentier.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Seriously, though. It's insulting to actor and Paralympian Jack Binstead that the screenplay takes place in so many locations which are clearly inaccessible to wheelchairs (especially when the obvious assistance he'd require is barely shown on-screen, even in the background as a matter-of-course depiction). The film's crescendo features a joke where his wheelchair is stuck on a rocky beach, ignoring the fact that he wouldn't have been able to fucking well get there anyway.
Is a visual gag where a kid falls out of a wheelchair really any better when the actor playing him is actually disabled? Does that give the joke a layer of self-deprecation which means it's safe for 'the normies' to laugh at? Given that the rest of the script is puerile and lazy in equal measure, I'm not sure that it does...

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• 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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