What happened here? The first two movies in the ADVENTURES OF... series were quite funny. Yet somehow a trilogy was formed when the series was tied up with this painfully unfunny movie. It comes as no surprise that the series ended here and no fourth movie was made.
As another person has commented on this page, this movie has a dreary, depressing tone hanging over it. I would like to add that the first two movies were nothing like this. Indeed, from seeing the first two, you would never guess Britain had descended to harsh economic times. In this movie, it's all too clear with its constant reminders of debt, unlikeable aggressive characters, nasty unrepentant officials and painful lack of humour.
What happened to Christopher Neil? His character in ADVENTURES OF A PRIVATE EYE was a very funny and likable accident-prone. I thought his performance in that movie was even better than that of Barry Evans in ADVENTURES OF A TAXI DRIVER. In ADVENTURES OF A PLUMBER'S MATE, Christopher Neil seems to be sleepwalking his way through the movie, he didn't seem to enjoy being here and unlike the previous movie, his character was more annoying than likable and none of the ideas funny on paper were funny on the screen.
As if the lead actor weren't bad enough, some first-rate supporting talent is wasted as well.
Arthur Mullard plays a Mr. Big type character but he was too overly aggressive to be funny. Mr. Mullard deserved better than this. Jerold Wells was equally wasted as his sidekick who was given nothing to do other than stand around looking dumb. Mr. Wells had more fun on THE BENNY HILL SHOW and his great cameo in VAULT OF HORROR.
Willie Rushton is also wasted as a quick-buck artist who allocates a number of jobs to the main character to help him pay off debts. His performance here was completely uninspired (who could blame him?) and a long way departed from KEEP IT UP DOWNSTAIRS or ADVENTURES OF A PRIVATE EYE.
Suzy Mandell, a veteran of British sex comedies is wasted in a role as a tennis player whose only purpose is to get her kit off and go in the shower. Unlike movies such as COME PLAY WITH ME and INTIMATE GAMES, she is given nothing to do or say that is in the least bit funny. For those who want to see Miss Mandell full-frontal nude, the two mentioned movies will deliver whereas this one doesn't.
But perhaps the most criminal waste of talent here is Stephen Lewis. He plays the boss of the main character and is in full Blakey mode. Not even he could save this movie. Not even the funniest person from the ON THE BUSES franchise could make me laugh here. This is how bad this movie was.
On a positive note, Anna Quayle has a good time with her character, who is the owner of a club or something like that. She has a few funny lines and is backed up by Christopher Biggins, who also has a good time.
The only genuine standout on the cameo list is Claire Davenport who raises a laugh or two as a battleaxe-type masseuse who handles her clients very roughly. Her scene was funny but it couldn't save this movie.
All in all, this is a colossal disappointment for anyone who has seen the first two entries in this series. It brings a sad end to a franchise that was moderately funny in saucy British tradition. My recommendation is to stick to the first two movies and disregard this one as though it doesn't exist.
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