An interweaving narrative chronicling the antics of such diverse characters as: a transgender taxi driver, a family obsessed with hygiene and toads, a fiery reverend, a carnival owner who kidnaps women into marriage, and a xenophobic couple who run a local shop for local people.
Anthology series which mixes dark humor with genres like crime, horror or drama. The show invites viewers into some very different No.9s, where the ordinary and mundane rub shoulders with the extraordinary and macabre.
The fictional world of Royston Vasey is facing apocalypse and the only way to avert disaster is for our nightmarish cast of characters to find a way into the real world and confront their creators. From present day Soho to the fictional film world of 17th Century Britain, the residents must overcome countless bizarre obstacles in their bid to return Royston Vasey to safety.Written by
I had high hopes for this film, reduced to moderate when I saw a trailer. Now that I've seen the movie, I'm sad to say it's not quite what I wanted. I'm a fan of the TV series, and had hoped for more of their trademark excruciating, cringeworthy, quite dark humour (mixed with laugh-out-loud moments). Although it begins well, featuring lots of the characters (Edward & Tubbs, Papa Lazarou, Herr Lipp, Hilary Briss, Jeff, Barbara, Mickey, Pauline, the Reverend, Chinnery) it soon settles down into Briss, Jeff and Herr Lipp as the main characters. I take the League's point that they didn't want to feature characters who were already 'stars' in the series, but by the same token, the three they chose have all been 'sanitised' from their Royston Vasey caricatures. Briss seems less like Jack the Ripper than he should, Jeff never really flips over into frustrated madman, and Herr Lipp is now actually very sympathetic. I didn't really care for the 17th Century storyline (although I have no problem with David Warner, ever). What made the series so good was that you got distilled vignettes of each character, mixing (Short Cuts - style) into the next one. Putting them all into a longer plot (and having to give the characters extra dimensions to do so) just weakened the hideousness of it all. You may think that the series' style wouldn't stretch to 90 minutes - but actually, if you remember the series they each had a story arc (usually building up to something diabolical with Edward & Tubbs). The notion that a flawed character could step into the real-life shoes of his creator and learn more about his family/how to treat his wife etc. was all a bit too 'Mr.Mom' for me. Way too twee, especially for what is otherwise one of the darkest, verbally-savage comedy series I have ever seen. Although there were quick nods to The Shining, Scanners and other films, I think they could have really pushed the Wicker Man aspects which are the backbone of the Royston Vasey experience.
Ultimately, I came away disappointed - but a friend of mine (who has never seen the series) thought it was really good, so I guess it depends which camp you fall in. I always think it's a shame when creators turn their back on their strongest creations just because they are bored with them. They forget; there's a good reason why those were your strongest creations in the first place AND the fans may not be as bored as you are.. If the League really are bored of the series; do something else. Let's not flog the characters to death in weakened film versions - you're not Star Trek.
4 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this