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Pudsey The Dog: The Movie Cashes in on a Reality Star


James Richardson

Over the past decade or so, filmmakers have been cashing in on the success of British TV comedies while trying to earn a bit of box office glory. The uniting feature behind these movies is a low budget and a release based on lots of advertising and very few press screenings, as opposed to more long-lasting British TV comedy-based films featuring Monty Python, Mr Bean or Alan Partridge. Clearly the goal for these cheaper productions is to have a huge first weekend.

Pudsey The MoviePudsey: The Movie

Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke brought their silly teen sketch-comedy characters to the big screen for Kevin & Perry Go Large in 2000, while Sacha Baron Cohen put his rapper in cinemas for Ali G Indahouse in 2002. But everything changed with The Inbetweeners movie in 2008, which stormed to major financial success against all expectations. It even caught critics off guard because there were no press screenings at all. And this is the pattern that has repeated over the years, from The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse (2005) to Keith Lemon: The Film (2012) to last month's Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie.

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Pudsey the Dog: The Movie Review


Terrible

With inept directing and editing and an incoherent script, this film utterly wastes any chance to create a charming little movie around the winner of 2012's Britain's Got Talent competition. Among a multitude of filmmaking sins, director Nick Moore (Horrid Henry: The Movie) never even lets the scruffy-cute dog Pudsey strut his stuff, limiting him to one rather dull trick. And the choppy way the film is assembled makes the audience wonder if the A-listers in the cast were working from the same script.

After being kicked off the set of a period-style movie, Pudsey (voiced by Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams) wanders into London and meets three kids: surly teen Molly (Miekle-Small), her bratty little brother George (Spike White) and their younger sibling Tommy (Malachy Knights), who hasn't said a word since their dad moved out. Their mum Gail (Jessica Hynes) is holding things together best she can, and is just about to move them to the remote village of Chuffington for a fresh start. But Pudsey stows away in their stuff, immediately causing trouble with their new landlord Thorne (John Sessions), who despises dogs. Soon, Jessica and Molly start flirting shamelessly with the nearby hunky farmer Jack (Luke Neal) and his fit teen farmhand Will (Luke Tittensor), while Pudsey snoops around, discovering Thorne's nefarious plan to level Jack's farm to build a huge shopping mall.

Screenwriter Paul Rose tries to include every conceivable British movie cliche, from a village fete to a random moment of adventure when Tommy falls into a well (where's Lassie when we need her?). At least the cinematography is pretty, even if director Moore seems more interested in repulsive jokes involving a pig who thinks he's a chicken laying eggs. There are also some startlingly grown-up gags involving surprisingly rude innuendo for a movie that's otherwise aimed at very young children. But most of the script's jokes never make it to a punchline, and plot threads start and stop with no warning at all. The worst diversion is when Pudsey is incarcerated in a kind of doggy Auschwitz outside the village, then leads a lame Great Escape after a bit of mind-numbing rapping.

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The Sweeney Review


OK
The iconic 1970s British TV series gets the big screen treatment from crime-drama aficionado Nick Love (The Business). And this slick cop thriller is enjoyable even if the plot never amounts to much more than an extended episode of a television show. But it looks great, and the cast is thoroughly entertaining.

Jack (Winstone) is a grizzled veteran of the Flying Squad, known in rhyming slang as "the Sweeney", an elite team of undercover London cops who deal with armed crime. His right-hand man and protege is George (Drew), and as they investigate a suspiciously messy jewellery heist, they are distracted when internal affairs officer Lewis (Mackintosh) starts looking for a reason to shut them down. Their captain (Lewis) tries to help, but things are complicated by the fact that Jack is having an affair with Lewis' wife (Atwell).

Continue reading: The Sweeney Review

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