Brit Karl Pilkington has led a sheltered life. Not having done any traveling, he enjoys living within the comforts of what he knows, basically that being what is purely British. As such, ... See full summary »
About 13 years on from his appearance in the documentary series The Office, a documentary film crew is once again following the life of David Brent. He is now working as a rep for cleaning goods distributor but still harbours dreams of making it big in the music business. Acting on this, he takes three weeks off work and tours with a new-look version of Foregone Conclusion, the band he was in in the 90s (he's the only remaining original member, for various reasons...).Written by
When Brent says Whassup to the rest of his band this is a reference to the first episode of The Office when he greets Tim and Gareth. See more »
When David Brent is doing his Chinese impersonation, his 2 female colleagues are seen watching disapprovingly in the background. However, a matter of seconds later, one of those women is emerging from the office of Miriam, having evidently had a conversation with her, with no time to get there and have a conversation so quickly. See more »
Precursor: Huge fan of the UK Office, the Gervais, Merchant & Pilkington radio shows and Podcasts, and Extras.
Life on the Road is a tread through the same old water that does nothing with the David Brent character except make him more unbelievable. The brilliance and innovation of The Office came from the characters being true to life, and carefully written. Without Stephen Merchant Ricky Gervais is exposed as an awful writer. Like Derek, this suffers from painfully clumsy dialogue, each character having to spell out their feelings as if keeping a diary. The "mockumentary" format is now well and truly a dead horse. Gervais has steered the comedy formula he popularised into a brick wall.
The characters are all regurgitated. There's a new Gareth, a new Finchy, a new Dawn. The pacing of the film is awful and the whole second half is cobbled into one rushed mess of an ending.
The concept isn't so terrible on paper. Brent's band, Forgone Conclusion, are a recognisable characteristic of every backwater British town, the group of ageing, leather jacket clad rock and rollers who can't let go, and want to give it one last push to "make it in the music biz". The problem is this shtick isn't enough to carry the film, and the fuddy duddy rock lyrics are a joke that wears thin. To combat this, Brent inexplicably writes songs like "Be Nice to the Disabled(s)", and the character is uncompromisingly steered into social calamity.
Another problem with Gervais' sledgehammer approach to subtle writing is that the characters intended to come off as "cool" (Doc Brown's rapper character, the label reps) feel incredibly corny, while those intended to come off as corny come across as something far worse.
We have little time to get to know or care about anyone in Brent's new office, these scenes are forgettable and do little other than trying to re-hash the TV series. Fans of the old XFM shows will notice a welcome return of Ho-Lee Fook, the little funny Chinese fella, in one of the funnier scenes in the film. There's not much else to get your teeth into: it's a pointless film. If Gervais and Merchant actually put their heads together and wrote something original, they'd be dangerous. As it is, like Derek, Life's Too Short and Hello Ladies, this is a tired vanity project with no purpose, no insight, and no imagination.
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