David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)


Spoiler-free review of David Brent: Life on the Road

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I am a mega fan (annoyingly so) of ‘the original David Brent series’ The Office and after two wonderful series and an amazing Christmas special that wrapped things up just so damn perfectly, I wasn’t sure that a movie starring Brent was necessary or a good idea.

But I saw it last night and couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it. This is going to be a spoiler-free review but I can tell you that I laughed a lot – and even shed a tear. If you’re a fan of The Office and Brent stop reading and just go watch it. Seriously.

The writing was really good. I had some trepidation where the script was concerned because Gervais old writing partner Stephen Merchant was not involved with the film. But I should have had more faith. Within minutes of the film starting I was laughing – really laughing. Tears coming out of my eyes laughing. And I didn’t spend any time debating if I liked it or not – I was just hooked. It felt, sounded and looked like the same old David (albeit older) right from the beginning.

As well as Gervais pulling off Brent again (“as an actor said to a bishop”) considering that thirteen years have passed since he last played him, the entire cast playRicky-Gervais-David-Brent-Life-on-the-Road-copyed their parts excellently. With an outlandish, embarrassing character like David it is fairly important that the other actors and support cast react to him in a way that is both humorous and realistic. Everyone in the film played their part very well, contributing to a familiar fly-on-the-wall-cringe we all felt whilst watching The Office. Quick shout out to the talented Doc Brown who plays David’s downtrodden musical ‘partner’ – and if you’ve not seen it before, watch his Proper Tea rap here (from his real live stand-up comedy, very good).

So the documentary crew picks up with David again, years after The Office, as he goes on tour (well kind of) with a reluctant band and crew, hoping to get Foregone Conclusion signed to a record label. His music and thirst to be a rock star is a big part of the story and during the film’s 96 minute duration there are a lot of songs which some people may find tedious. David-Brent-Life-on-the-Road-Movie-Set-3For my part I enjoyed them. I found them genuinely catchy and well written and genuinely funny too, though sometimes a bit deafening in the cinema! And there are still scenes in an office environment, a new company where David now works as a sales rep (“who does your tampons?”). Some of the scenes here were so funny I was actually crying.

But there are heartbreaking moments as well, both on and off the road. David’s ludicrous behaviour (which tends to put people off him) felt harder to watch this time around and basically a bit sadder, though the writing is still spot on and I felt this only served to make Life on the Road an even better, more memorable film.

I can’t honestly say how it will hold up in ten years time, when compared to The Office (stop comparing it to The Mother-Fucking Office…) that I have watched a million times this last decade and still makes me laugh out loud. I’ve only seen this film once but one thing I do know is that I really, really enjoyed it and it felt fitting and right. What pleased me most is how much it still felt like David and the writing and script which I found both hilarious and clever. I think my exact words when I walked out the cinema were – “I want to watch it again!”.

A very pleasant surprise, hugely enjoyable film and a must watch for all fans of the Chilled Out Entertainer.

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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43 Responses to David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)

  1. Pingback: Films I Watched In: August | emmakwall (explains it all)

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  3. Thanks for this review – another one on my to review list – haven’t seen the Office but have seen Life’s too Short which I find strangely addictable x Think I going to have to watch this asloved Jo Hartley in the Eddie the Eagle biopic – she played his mum and love Gervais in Special Correspondents x

  4. Pingback: Films I Watched In: December (and a look at the whole of 2016) | emmakwall (explains it all)

  5. Malicious says:

    Yeah even I was waiting for its release in India! I have few videos of ricky gervais stand up comedy on my blog, I think you might like them

  6. cinephile says:

    being a huge fan of The Office..disappointed they did not release it in India. Great review though..got me totally interested.

  7. Pingback: Films I Watched In: August & September | emmakwall (explains it all)

  8. Jordan Dodd says:

    Great to read a positive review!! I love the character of Brent, no bad review is gonna stop me seeing this 😀 Mmmmkkkay!!

    BTW I might actually scan and email you my archway notes, I think you mentioned once you can type really fast? I’m going soooo slow at the moment =/

    • emmakwall says:

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm’kay!!! Ah Jordan it was great, better than I expected! Brent is back 🙂

      How are you? And yes send it over!!!! emmakwall@yahoo.com – always happy to help 🙂

      • Jordan Dodd says:

        I am good thanks. A lot of studying so I’m not getting to watch many movies, so my post count has gone dooowntown. Just posted a new one though, its about Mel Gibson’s new movie 🙂 And another one in a few hours about The Shallows, which only just got released here

        As for this, I gotta make sure I see it before its gone from the cinemas!!!

        And if you could honestly read my scribbles and type it up that would be a DREAM. I’ll scan all the pagews… they are old and tattered but you should be able to read most of it. I’ll mail it thru 🙂 🙂 🙂 mmmmmmkay!

        • emmakwall says:

          You do that!! And hows the studying coming along? I want to see The Shallows too! I really really want to see it 🙂 I saw Lights Out which was old fashioned creepy fun.

          Please do email over whenever you have a mo 🙂 and say hello to brutus!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm’kay 🙂

          • Jordan Dodd says:

            Studying is going good, almost finished actually. I did a post on The Shallows, dunno if you saw that. I didn’t really like it, but I’m not big into summer movies

            Brutus says mmmkay 😛

  9. Zoë says:

    So glad to hear that this was such a pleasant surprise for you, and that the trepidation was uncalled for!

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