Starring: Jack Whitehall, Ethan Lawrence, Iain Glen
Director: Elliot Hegarty
Running Time: 90 mins
The Bad Education Movie is a British film about a teacher who decides to take his class on one last trip after they finish their exams, but runs into problems when he comes across a stubborn parent, and a radical Cornish nationalist movement.
As a fan of the show Bad Education, I wasn’t too hesitant going into this movie, but I still wasn’t expecting anything moderately decent. So, that’s why I’m glad to say that this film surprised me. Whilst it’s still plagued with painfully dumb juvenile humour, and feels a good half an hour longer than its actual runtime, its preposterous plot development made for a genuinely enjoyable watch.
Now, I do say ‘genuinely enjoyable watch’ with a few disclaimers. For one, if you’ve never seen the original TV show, the humour and various characters (almost all of whom are complete idiots) may not be so tolerable. Fans of the show will definitely take to this movie more, so be warned before jumping into this.
Secondly, the best thing about this film isn’t actually the jokes. Whilst I laughed a lot, and there are a good few gags that land very well, the main comedic strength of this film is its ridiculous plot. Boldly preposterous from the moment the main act begins, this film is almost the very definition of ‘that escalated quickly’.
And what’s great is that it works so well for so long. Whilst the main bulk of the story takes a good twenty minutes to burst into life, seeing a class of students and a moronic teacher accidentally get caught up in a major (and very unlikely) revolution is absolutely brilliant. The lengths that this film randomly decides to take the Cornish Revolution to are so funny, and it makes for a consistently entertaining watch that builds up well to a hugely enjoyable finale.
Whilst that was a great surprise for me, the issues with The Bad Education Movie aren’t all that far away. Firstly, the use of gross-out/toilet humour feels so disappointing within the movie. It was inevitable that we’d have a few American Pie-esque gags throughout here, but this film basically sticks to one gag and uses it again and again.
Not only is it not funny at first, but seeing it repeated at several points throughout the movie (not in an in-joke way) was really disappointing to see, and took the shine of the rest of the comedy, which was genuinely entertaining.
What’s more is that the characters aren’t quite as well utilised in this movie as in the TV show. Although Jack Whitehall is great in the central role, his rapport with his class isn’t quite there in the same way. The additional loss of a couple of zany staff members from the school adds to that, but the main disappointment here is that the students aren’t as active and entertaining as I know they can be.
Overall, I did enjoy The Bad Education Movie. I know it’s not the sort of thing for everyone, and you’ll probably have to have seen the show before to be able to tolerate it, but it does have some great qualities, including a good few gags and a hilariously preposterous story, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.1.