Starring: Jack Whitehall, Iain Glen, Jeremy Irvine
To celebrate his motley crew class finishing their GCSEs, incompetent history teacher Mr Wickers (Whitehall) decides to take them on a school trip. However, after the events of their last trip away to Amsterdam, the school can only afford to let them go to Cornwall, where of course all hilarity ensues (!).
It is a tried and tested concept which must have taken the writers Jack Whitehall and Freddy Syborn a whole five seconds to think of when trying make a feature length version of their TV series Bad Education: send all the main characters on Holiday!
I have never seen the TV series, but I have heard it is quite funny and Jack Whitehall just about bearable. However, maintaining most kinds of humour for a feature length running time is always much more of a challenge than for just under 30 minutes, and the excessively juvenile humour in The Bad Education Movie does feel like to has been cranked up to a much greater level than in the TV series to make sure they keep it going for the 90 minutes.
The fact The Bad Education Movie has Jack Whitehall pulling a stupid face on the poster should put many of those won’t like this film off anyway, for the rest of us there are some half-hearted attempts at plotting which utilise the location and the possibilities that can bring. In this instance the locals are depicted in the most derogatory way possible and the Cornish Liberation Army portrayed as basically terrorists. While this is most certainly an area where any comedy film should tread very carefully, the tone is so silly and stupid, and plotting predictable that it doesn’t ever really threaten to offend anyone, as to be offended would almost give the writers credit they do not deserve.
The fact that The Bad Education Movie adopts such a silly tone from start to finish and never takes itself seriously is, though not a complete saving grace, means it is always watchable and there are some quite funny moments (in context). Though the narrative is essentially a series of comic set pieces (often involving Jack Whitehall’s naked bottom half), it is sometimes funny in the context of having such a low tone. However, though perhaps some laughs are at and not with, the fact the young cast are all quite likeable and most jokes are at the expense of Jack Whitehall’s character means that those happy to embrace their inner teenager will often find themselves laughing (as I did).
Jack Whitehall is just of course playing himself, but as annoying as he may be as a person, the fact that the jokes are often at his character’s expense does make them that little bit more satisfying. The overall plot is not written particularly well and some familiar faces turn up that really should know better, but the fact it never even attempts to take itself seriously and the young cast are quite likeable means that though The Bad Education Movie is essentially rubbish, it is still vastly superior to the likes of Ted 2, Mortdecai and Unfinished Business.
It adopts the most tried and tested narrative for a for TV series to film transition, and despite some messy and lazy plotting, its tendency to never take itself seriously means that when watched in the right context, The Bad Education Movie has a few laughs to offer.