Director: Alex Richanbach
Writer: Lauryn Kahn
Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Richard Madden, Vanessa Bayer
American 30-something Harper (Jacobs) is sent on a business trip to Barcelona, and her two friends Nikki (Bayer) and Leah (Phoebe Robinson) decide to join her and turn it into a holiday. On their night out, Harper has a chance encounter with successful DJ Leo West (Madden) and the two share an obvious attraction, but he is due to do a DJ set in Ibiza the next day. So, Harper and her two friends travel to Ibiza to try to find him despite the fact that she is supposed to have a business meeting the next day.
I expect some will claim that a 30-something bloke like me is not the target audience for one of Netlfix’s latest original films. Well, I regard that argument as utter nonsense; as this is like saying that no adults can enjoy kids films; if a film is a good, then no matter what its actual genre or supposed target audience, it can be enjoyed, or at least appreciated, by all.
Well, there is no getting way from the fact that Ibiza is a load of rubbish; it is a poorly written, made and acted film devoid of any laughs or engagement. Apparently, the island of Ibiza is actually threatening to sue the makers of this film, so I will leave others to make their own conclusions from that!
Admittedly, despite its script seeming to be happy to embrace an abundance of lazy clichés, it is not a film that is as hatefully abrasive as some of the other ‘comedies’ produced by the mainstream (I think we can all count Netflix as mainstream), but considering it is produced by Will Ferrell’s production company, all involved should be ashamed of themselves for producing this film.
Indeed, Ibiza is a film that is so incredibly average and devoid of having even a single original thought or idea that it is actually impossible to take a huge disliking to it, but just feel absolutely nothing towards it, in the same way that a parent is not angry, just disappointed. Ibiza is 94 minutes of pure nothing; it is like staring into the abyss for 94 minutes without a single thought in one’s head, or indeed sitting completely still and watching paint dry. It has nothing to offer that is to be enjoyed, but at the same time is so deeply lacking in, well, anything at all that it is almost impossible to really have an opinion on it, as even a negative opinion almost threatens to justify its existence, and that would give this ‘film’ credit that it simply does not deserve.
The script itself is an insult to the word ‘script’ as it is hideously lazy cliché after hideously lazy cliché. It often attempts to focus on being cringey, and though it does result in the viewer cringing as they feel deeply embarrassed for the not only the person that wrote it, but the actors having to say it, I do not believe that is the angle that the screenwriter was originally going for. While the script’s depiction of characters of all genders and nationalities is also appalling and deeply disrespectful to all. Likewise the direction, camerwork and editing are particularly shoddy.
Meanwhile the performances from the three female leads are probably done with the best of intentions, but they are given a script that is beyond the abilities of any actor, and the actors tend to overact to make up for it. Meanwhile, perhaps the most memorable thing about Ibiza is to question why Robb Stark (Richard Madden) ever agreed to be in this film; he seems to deliver the dialogue with seeming disbelieve and just wants to pick up the cheque and get the hell out of there.
As the painfully predictable narrative plods along there is no point in caring about what happens, as air born bacteria can predict it anyway, and Ibiza may well prove to be the most relaxing and peaceful rest that many people will have ever had.
A piece of pure cinematic nothing that is so devoid of, well, anything that is impossible to be angry about it; Ibiza will be an example studied in years to come in how not to make a film.