MOVIE REVIEW: David Brent: Life on the Road

The star of the English version of The Office continues his journey with the documentary crew that followed him around when he was in charge of the Slough company as he tries to fulfil his life dream of being a recording artist. It seems as though David Brent has learned nothing from any of his experiences and is making the same mistakes time and time again.

I’m not a fan of The Office, I liked the one Christmas special that they did to wrap up the series, well when I thought that they were wrapping up the series, but that was it. The clips of Ricky Gervais being the one character that he can be, basically Ricky Gervais, was enough to put me off that show. Since then everything he’s done has only been a slight variation of that one character. So I guess I’m saying I’m not a fan of him or his shows. I do have to admit that Extras season 1 offered some hope for him and his acting but the following series just led us back to the character from The Office. I want Gervais to tackle something different, something good, he may not be capable of that but we’re not going to know unless he tries.

Here David Brent is now a company Rep selling bathroom products on the road, but also trying to make it in the music business. He’s financing everything himself and failing. The only reason that the band is together is that he’s paying for them to be there. Everything is starting to get to him. He’s not respected by anyone or at least anyone that he notices. So he finances what he calls a tour, which in reality is 8 small venue gigs with his band.

If you like Gervais or Brent, or the English version of The Office then this is a film for you. If you haven’t watched the previous pieces in this serious you won’t be lost as the character is easy to grab hold of. I did laugh at a lot of the film and it’s nice to laugh.

Gervais plays the character the same way he’s done in any of the scenes I’ve seen him before. When someone points out that he’s being insensitive or racist then he tries to turn the tables on them. The songs in the film that his character wrote show a self importance that I’ve only ever seen before in Bono.

The filming of this is done in the documentary style of the original programme, which adds to the objective of it being a mock fly on the wall documentary. If you like politically incorrect humour done to shock you into laughing then you’re going to find a lot to laugh at here.

I wasn’t looking forward to seeing this one trick pony being led out for another attempt to continue to the massage of Gervais and his ego, but I have to say that it wasn’t unpleasant, it wasn’t anything amazing either. It was just your average Gervais comedy. Enough jokes to make you laugh, song lyrics that are funny and offensive, and if you’re a fan of The Office you’ll be a fan of this show. The final scene of the film where there is a realisation of what the future holds for Brent offers the character a little hope. But that happened before in the finale Christmas special and then they just about faced with this film. I do get the feeling that this effort would have been better served being brought onto the small screen with BBC rather than inflicting itself on the silver screen. You could say that this film is fine but would be better on the small screen. But in the vaults of British Sit Coms that come to the big screen it’s far better than most adaptations. Fingers crossed that David Brent retires now. I, for one, have had enough.

Director: Ricky Gervais
Writer: Ricky Gervais
Stars: Ricky Gervais, Jo Hartley, Doc Brown

See full cast & crew


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