Starring: Harry Hill, Julie Walters, Matt Lucas
When told the news that his pet hamster Abu has a week to live, Harry and his Nan (Walters) take Abu to Blackpool to give him the best week of his life. Unbeknown to them, it is all part of an evil plot by Harry’s evil twin brother Otto (Lucas) to kidnap Abu and make him the centre piece of his miniature plastinated hamster world. So begins a surreal road trip including nuclear disasters, Jim Broadbent in drag, shell people and The Magic Numbers (remember them?) owning a B & B in which Otto’s henchmen (Simon Bird and Guillaume Delaunay) continue to attempt to steal Abu from Harry.
Ok, so I was obviously not expecting The Shawshank Redemption from the large collared one’s first feature length foray, it is after all Harry Hill. It is ridiculously silly and surreal, as per the norm, and of course there is a place for that but, why?!? Apart from the intention to make money, who the hell thought this was a good idea?!? TV to feature length is usually a bad idea, but making a Harry Hill movie is surely scraping the very bottom of a very deep barrel. Fair enough, it is not as horrific and painful as Keith Lemon The Film (but then apart from gauging you own eyes out, what is?), but as usual with these things, it well and truly struggles to fill up 88 minutes with its ‘plot’ (I use that term very loosely).
Before I am accused of not ‘getting it’, I fully appreciate that comedy is subjective and there is a place for comedy that is silly and surreal for the sake of it. In fact, I enjoy some of Harry Hill’s TV shows, he has his own style and that obviously has brought him success, but stretching it out like this predominantly never works. We have essentially a series of skits and sketches that are as random as they are irritating; all held together by a nonexistent plot and a selection of a random musical numbers. The songs themselves lack any themic catchiness or lyrical intelligence and their novelty wears painfully thin from the off. While less than subtle attempts at parody and self awareness embarrassingly misfire. It is obvious the cast were all game and enjoyed themselves (I expect their fees helped with that), well that is nice for them, but unfortunately they are the only ones getting any enjoyment from the experience.
Once again proof that a 90 minute series of silly and surreal sketches a good film does not make, The Harry Hill Movie admittedly does not ever try to be serious, but is all very rarely even mildly amusing.