David Brent: Life on the road: a quick review

August 24, 2016

To be honest, it was pretty average. There were a lot of funny moments and some laugh out loud moments, but there were four people who left the theatre seperately about half way through.

If you like the Office, you should like it, as the film tries desperately to rekindle the feeling from the original series. The problem is that in the Office, there were other story lines going on and your exposure to ‘David Brent’ was restricted and he had other characters to play off. In the film, it feels really drawn out to fill time every time he is on screen. You could have easily reduced the total running time by trimming certain ‘Brent heavy’ scenes to points they stopped being funny and still would have been a better film.

Ricky Gervais is great as Brent, however, it really does feel like its a tv special made to fill a slot, rather than a good idea to make a TV show into a movie. There are too many drawn out moments with Brent-esque mannerisms to fill time rather than potential other character development or story arcs or anything else of value.

Gervais’s portrayal of Brent will inspire you to learn from him and avoid the social exclusion traps Brent falls into as he chases acceptance and to be liked by the band. Although his character is magnified to fill a comedic role, I did leave thinking about how easy it is for us as modern men to become partly like him, to become distant from social groups, lose touch with friends and be lost alone in the world. It is a real fear that we may be alone and unable to become part of a herd, to make friends and have a social life. The film does remind you about the need to be more in the moment, to accept people as they are and not to try so damn hard, just let things happen.

All in all, it was a film that is relatively funny but you wouldn’t go out of your way to see, or rewatch, without playing with your phone or some other waste of time. You could have made it into another mini series, developed some of the other characters and made a good TV series. It just smacks of a desperate need to make money from the character and it is an OK film but could and should have been much better.

An average film that you will enjoy when you watch it but quickly forget it after. If you have a choice, see something else or wait till it comes out on TV. Quite disappointing.

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