The end of GCSE exams is approaching and, while many students around the country will be preparing for a messy weekend in Magaluf, it's a guarantee that none of their antics will match those of Mr. Wickers and his troublemaking class. He's always been a terrible teacher, but for Alfie Wickers, a true adventure is needed to seal his unbreakable bond with his tearaway pupils - and so it's off to Cornwall they go, to the chagrin of the kids' worried mothers. It might seem like an innocent school trip, but they're forced to prepare themselves for some unexpected incidents involving seriously menacing farmer locals, as well as Alfie's ruthless old school chums. It gets even worse when the group go missing, and wind up wanted by police and all over the news. But it still could go down as the best school trip ever.
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There are so many plot holes in this silly British holiday sequel that the script hardly seems to exist at all. As in the previous two Nativity! movies, the emphasis is on Christmas wackiness, with inane set pieces designed only to keep small children giggling. Writer-director Debbie Isitt clearly isn't interested in connecting these scenes together into something more than vaguely coherent, asking us to just go with it. And if you can do that, you might have some fun with this.
Once again, it's all change at St. Bernadette's School in Coventry. This time there's a new headmistress in the humourless, astonishingly unobservant Mrs Keen (Celia Imrie). She sensibly sacks the dopey teaching assistant Mr Poppy (Marc Wootton) and instead hires "super-teacher" Mr Shepherd (Martin Clunes), who immediately gets rid of Poppy's donkey, the class mascot. In the process though, Shepherd takes a blow to the head and loses his memory, which is a problem because he's due to get married to Sophie (Catherine Tate) in New York. So Shepherd's daughter Lauren (Lauren Hobbs) teams up with Poppy to get the kids into a flashmob competition that culminates with a final round in, of course, Manhattan. The problem is that the competition is being organised by Sophie's preening ex Bradley (Adam Garcia), who wants her back.
Issitt keeps the film moving at such a hyperactive pace that there's barely time to notice that nothing about this story makes any sense. But before we can say, "Wait a minute!" the film has already lurched into a corny slapstick sequence or a big musical number performed with screechy karaoke-style authenticity. Although the songs are packed with clever hooks and repeated so many times that they're impossible to get out of our heads. Oddly, the children are sidelined in this movie, appearing at random for a bit of cacophonous mayhem or another pastiche holiday number. Only Hobbs registers as a character.
Continue reading: Nativity 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?! Review
Mr. Shepherd is the new teacher at St Bernadette's Catholic School in Coventry who is eager to propose to his friend Sophie, to the delight of his young daughter who wants so badly to have a new mother by Christmas. Meanwhile, the school has also gained a new headmistress, Mrs. Keen, who deeply disapproves of the school's favourite teacher - the ever child-like Mr. Poppy - and their pet donkey Archie. The latter pet-peeve is probably for a good reason as soon enough, Mr. Shepherd finds himself deeply concussed after being kicked by Archie, completely forgetting who he is, where he is, where Archie is and, more importantly, that he's soon to be married on Christmas Eve in New York. Mr. Poppy and the class decide to band together to get him to his bride by joining a flash mob, where the top prize is a trip to the Big Apple. Will the class succeed in their latest endeavour and make this Christmas the best yet?
After 2009's inane comedy Nativity, no one was clamouring for a sequel, but at least this one tips the scales into sublime silliness. If you can suspend your disbelief, this might even be a guilty pleasure, complete with stars behaving stupidly, adorable children and a series of hilariously corny pastiche Christmas songs.
Things continue to be rather chaotic at St Bernadette's Primary School in Coventry, mainly because the headmistress (Ferris) is still employing her idiotic nephew Mr Poppy (Wootton) as a classroom assistant. He's just scared off another applicant for the teaching job when the tenacious Mr Peterson (Tennant) arrives with his pregnant wife (Page), determined to stick it out. Somehow Poppy convinces Peterson to take the kids on an illicit cross-country journey to a Song for Christmas competition in Wales, at which the kids will face competition from school rival Mr Shakespeare (Watkins) as well as Peterson's estranged twin brother Roderick (also Tennant), a snooty composer with a professional choir.
The plot is utterly preposterous, and as the wacky events progress, writer-director Isitt never even tries to ground the movie in realism. In fact, there's a point about halfway through where it becomes pure fantasy, so complaints about believability don't really apply. The only way to survive watching it is to sit back and enjoy the inane plot and goofy slapstick. And by doing so, we're surprised that the film is actually rather enjoyably ridiculous.
Continue reading: Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! Review
Mr. Poppy, an immature classroom assistant at a St. Bernadette's Primary School, returns with ideas for a new Christmas performance with his class following the success of their Nativity play in 2009's 'Nativity!' He wishes to organise the pupils for the National 'Song for Christmas' Competition where the prize is a massive o10,000. However, being only an assistant, he cannot enter the class until their new teacher arrives. Donald Peterson is that teacher; a restless and stressed out man who struggles to deal with the pregnancy of his wife, the pressure on him to become like his talented composer twin brother and, of course, the unruly Class 7. Mr. Poppy wastes no time in getting Donald to agree to get the competition performance underway but the new teacher soon finds himself out of his depth and struggling to control the behaviour of his teaching assistant who insists on using a real baby and a donkey in the show. However, when Donald discovers that his perfect, daddy's boy brother is also competing alongside the upperclass choir of St Cuthbert's College, he finds himself determined to put on a world-class performance.
'Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger' is the most perfect sequel to its 2009 predecessor. It sees the return of Debbie Isitt as writer and director and most of your favourite characters and is set to be released well in time for the festive season on November 23rd 2012.
Director: Debbie Isitt
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Paul (Freeman) is a loser who teaches at a primary school in the Midlands. It's been five years since his girlfriend Jennifer (Jensen) left to pursue a Hollywood career and best pal Gordon (Watkins) took a job in a posh school that puts on the most acclaimed Christmas shows in the city. This year, a moronic teacher's assistant Mr Poppy (Wootton) and a desperate-for-fame headmistress (Ferris) have put Paul in charge of the nativity play once again. And a little lie turns Paul's show into the talk of the town.
Continue reading: Nativity! Review
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