Sunday, 22 December 2013

Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! (2012)

I didn't really like Nativity! that much, so it really comes as no surprise that I am not a fan of Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger!

Debbie Isitt handles both the directing and writing duties, once again, and relies on some cute kids to carry the whole thing, once again. There were one or two moments that made me almost grin, I admit it, but most of this film was almost painful to endure.

Poor David Tennant plays two roles here. In one, the main one, he is the teacher - Mr. Peterson - taking over from Martin Freeman's character (Freeman at least had the sense not to return), while his other character is . . . . . . . his nasty twin brother. There's a national singing competition being held that Mr. Peterson ends up taking his new class along to, after the smallest amount of persuasion from the loony Mr. Poppy (Marc Wootton returning to his role).

With Jason Watkins and Pam Ferris also returning, as well as many of the kids from the first movie, this is a film that wants to take viewers on a gentle trip through some familiar territory. That can work, and is often the way of sequels, but when it's not done well it just ends up feeling horribly lazy. Considering the lack of laughs, and lack of care taken with the slipshod plotting and characterisations here, that feeling of laziness just grows with each moment.

Tennant is someone I like, and his presence here helps to make this bearable, but he can't do much to improve what he's given. Wootton enjoys himself again, and occasionally forces viewers to smile, but the only consistently good comedy comes from Jessica Hynes, playing the celebrity hostess of the competition as a cross between Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins.

Utilising the same mix of scripted moments and improvisation as the first movie, this poor effort MAY please those who enjoy David Tennant, Marc Wootton, and/or cute kids being cheeky. But that's not guaranteed. It's more likely that by the time the end credits roll you will curse yourself for having wasted your time on it.


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