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 Pauline hands David Brent his farewell card he almost reveals what was bought as a leaving present for Pete Gibbons. A reference to S1 Ep6 of The Office 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 »
Not in the same league as the TV Series but there's still plenty for fans to enjoy
Filmed in the same style as the TV Series this is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about everyone's favourite cringe-inducing boss David Brent as he attempts to hit the big time as a rock star with his band Foregone Conclusion.
The Office was like a breath of fresh air when it first arrived back in 2001 and it is a TV Series that I adore and can watch over and over again - I believe this was one of the first comedy series that brought about what can only be described as 'cringe-humour'. Life On The Road is presumably intended as a swan song for the character of David Brent and predictably the film as a whole falls short of the TV Series, but does still produce plenty of laughs....
In essence taking Brent out of the office and having him go on tour basically gives him the opportunity to showcase his delusions and social awkwardness to a much larger group of people. This does provide plenty of laughs and there are many scenes that do provide us with some classic Brent cringe moments. Whilst there are lots of funny scenes and lots of jokes that do work there are occasions when the comedy feels a bit forced (the joke about the Chinese was a bit awkward) and the continual jokes about Doc Brown being black are overused and start to wear thin - although many of the jokes are quite funny.
The film is generally funny when Brent is out on tour with his band, but sadly the same can't really be said for the scenes within the office; in fairness it was always going to be difficult to substitute the likes of Dawn, Gareth and Tim, but something just didn't feel right with many of Brent's co-workers. In the TV Series pretty much everyone in the Office disliked Brent, but you never felt that they held any kind of deep felt hatred or resentment towards him I personally just felt that a lot of his colleagues were sort of indifferent towards him. In Life on the road, his co-workers either really hate him (which sometimes gives the film a rather nasty tone) or they really like him (which sort of negates everything that his character is about). Having one of the characters being as cringe-inducing as Brent himself was a misstep in my book as part of what made Brent funny in the Office is that he thought he was funny, but no-one else did. I found Brent's behaviour in the Office 'funny-awkward' whereas his scenes with his workers in this film were more 'awkward-awkward'.
Inevitably trying to make a character who we're used to seeing in 30 minute segments and making him funny for 90 minutes is a tall order and it shows here; there were gaps in the film where I wasn't laughing whereas in the TV Series I was nearly always laughing. This result in a film that is mostly funny rather than being consistently funny.
Gervais wrote, directed and starred in this film so I suppose it's to be expected that he is front and centre in the picture, but he does make the film feel like a one-man show far too often; he doesn't really allow many of the characters much room to develop and I also felt it was a pity that poor Doc Brown was reduced to little more than being a barrage of jokes about his race and a straight man to Brent's character (though the film does allow Brown to showcase his talents - he's actually a decent rapper).
The film does get a little sappy at the end and some of the character shifts towards the end are also a little questionable, but in the main there are enough amusing moments to keep fans of the TV Series happy. Yes it's a flawed film, but it's a pretty funny one too.
17 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this