Review – The Bad Education Movie

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Stars: Jack Whitehall, Iain Glen, Joanna Scanlan
Director: Elliott Hegarty
Certificate: 15 (an unusual obsession with testicles)
Running Time: 91 mins
Release Date: 21st August 2015

The Bad Education Movie should come with a Game of Thrones spoiler warning. The fact that Iain Glen is starring in the feature-length spinoff of an at best moderately popular BBC3 comedy show is a pretty strong indication that the Ser Jorah Mormont paycheques dry up pretty early on in season 6

The film, which should under no circumstances be confused with the similarly-named 2004 Almovador flick, tells the tale of a school trip gone wrong. Teacher Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall, who also bravely puts his name to the writing) takes his class of 16-year-olds to Cornwall, where they visit the Eden Project, appreciate some cultural highlights, and accidentally embroil themselves in a separatist uprising (led by Glen). The plot, such as it is, is little more than a frame upon which to hang a succession of jokes which the producers of Porkies rejected for being a bit on the juvenile side

Credit where it’s due – I laughed twice during The Bad Education Movie, and neither of the jokes in question were spoiled by the trailer. One about the downsides of investing in art, and another about the etymology of the name “Gay Colin” (may not have been Colin, I wasn’t concentrating all that hard). That’s twice as many times as Get Hard and an infinite number of times as many as Unfinished Business, but still leaves it with roughly the same laugh:hour ratio that you’d expect from a Second World War drama or chick flick involving terminal illness rather than a comedy film. The rest of the mercifully brief runtime is not so much scripted as it is brainstormed, apparently consisting of a series of ideas that came up in a “what do idiots find inherently funny?” meeting thrown indiscriminately at the screen

Sex toys. One-legged strippers. Swan-teabagging. Laxatives. Using hallucinogens in the Anne Frank museum. Jack Whitehall’s scrotum. No effort has gone into crafting jokes, you’re just expected to laugh at these things. Which is fine if you’re the sort of person who is capable of dong that, but I’d expect that it restricts the potential audience of the film to an even greater extent than basing it on a TV show which spent 19 inglorious episodes ghettoised on the BBC’s red-headed stepchild of a youth channel. The first Inbetweeners movie showed that cult televisual appeal could translate into big screen success, but it also showed that having at least some amount of wit was an important part of that. It’s natural for that sort of success to inspire imitators, but watching Bad Education didn’t bring The Inbetweeners to mind at all. It reminded me of when American Pie was a big hit, so big that it inspired the existence of Freddie Got Fingered

Our Verdict: 2/10


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