Ah, British school trips. Abysmal for most, satisfying for a few. Because let’s face it, what teenager really wants to spend their days traipsing round a medieval castle with their history teacher waxing lyrical about the latest exhibit of archaic ladles? And if you’re one of the few privileged people whose trip managed to be set in somewhere remotely sunny, and everyone was impeccably well behaved, you’re probably either lying to yourself, or you didn’t go to a public school. And thus begins the premise of Elliot Hegarty’s The Bad Education Movie.
Attempting to make sure his latest trip doesn’t completely bore his students and go down as one of the classic lame outings you have with your school is Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall). A trip to the Anne Frank museum goes horribly wrong when Mitchell (Charlie Wernham) spikes Wickers’ crêpe with magic mushrooms, causing Wickers to kidnap an Anne Frank dummy believing it to be alive. This leads to him subsequently fleeing from pursuers into a lake, mimicking the classic scene from ET. After all this, Wickers is determined to make the next trip a success. Despite facing much resistance from the PTA, Wickers decides on Cornwall for the next location, intending to embark on a wild adventure with his class through pubs, culminating in a house party at an old friend’s. Unfortunately, one of the parents, Susan Poulter (Joanna Scanlan), fearing for her son’s safety tags along, thus ruining Wickers’ plans.
Of course, this being The Bad Education Movie, the fun doesn’t stop there. Cue the usual crass jokes you’d expect from the BBC3 television series, along with outrageous activities that end predictably terribly, and add in a whole bunch of sheer randomness for good measure. Namely: ferocious swans, more prosthetic balls than you’ll see on a hot day at the beach and ridiculous terror groups with bizarre motives. If it sounds completely mad, that’s because it is. You certainly can’t accuse The Bad Education Movie of misrepresenting itself. It strives for a mix of classic teenage British humour (not dissimilar to The Inbetweeners) and it achieves this, even if the gags aren’t to everyone’s taste. Ultimately, the venture is entirely respective of the sitcom the film is based on, and it goes without saying if you don’t like the humour or plot-line of the sitcom you are not going to like this particular feature length version – in fact, why are you even bothering?
While The Bad Education Movie is no instantaneous classic, it very reasonably performs as expected. The humour is mostly there, albeit a little vulgar at times, and Whitehall manages to maintain audience attention and showcase his talent as a comedic actor. Supported by some of the younger cast, who have the odd hilarious line and deliver it about as sarcastically as you’d expect. Layton Williams manages to shine as the excessively flamboyant and walking stereotypical Essex representation – move out of the way Amy Childs, Stephen’s coming through.
Unashamedly childish and overwhelmingly goofy, The Bad Education Movie is sure to soar with those who are not afraid of a splash of silliness and lewd playground humour, but may struggle with those who prefer something a little more substantial and intelligent. After all, this is a distinctly light-hearted affair, and one that should not be taken too seriously. Adults need not apply.
Watch the trailer for The Bad Education Movie:
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