DIR: Ben Kellett • WRI: Brendan O’Carroll • PRO: Stephen McCrum • DOP: Martin Hawkins • ED: Mark Lawrence • MUS: Andy O’Callaghan • DES: Simon Rogers • CAST: Brendan O’Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Robert Bathurst, Sorcha Cusack
Chances are if you’re planning on going to see Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, then – much like writer and star Brendan O’Carroll – you don’t really care what film critics have to say about it and probably won’t be reading this review. So instead of pre-loading the critique with apologetic lines like “But fans of the show will love it…”, let’s just assume that fans of the show already love it, and have this review be for everyone else, such as people going in blind to Mrs Brown phenomenon. Is there anything here for the average cinemagoer? Aside from making Dublin look pretty, the answer is a loud and solid “No.”
When a local politican (boo!) wants to pave Moore Street to put up a parking lot or whatever it is his nefarious plans involve, Mrs Brown finds her stall under threat. Doubly so when she discovers that she actually owes nearly €4 million in taxes due to a government SNAFU. So Mrs Brown’s Boys (and girls) get involved to try to save the day, and we end up with a bunch of blind ninjas and their faux-Asian leader (also O’Carroll, leaving no racist joke unturned), a lawyer with Tourette’s Syndrome and a gay man in Borat-style mankini. Hilarious…..?
It’s not that O’Carroll and co aren’t funny, more that it feels like at no point does it ever really feel like they’re trying to be. For all the fourth-wall breaking self-awareness and kept-in outtakes while the film is still happening, there’s no sense of intelligence or originality going on when it comes to the jokes.
Of course it is nice that, for once, Dublin is being shown as a lovely, warm, welcoming place filled with accepting, loveable folk, and the cinematography really does paint the capital as a layered, vibrant cosmopolitan city, but this isn’t exactly a Richard Linklater movie. This is a comedy, one now without the laugh track of the TV show to remind us where the punchlines are. Without that assistance, it’s next to impossible to figure out when we’re supposed to find any of this funny.
But fans of the show will love it…
15A (See IFCO for details)
Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is released on 27th June 2014