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Review: David Brent: Life on the Road

David Brent: Life on the Road is a continuation of the BBC mockumentary The Office. David takes a holiday from his job as a salesman to launch his new band ‘Foregone Conclusion.’

I have never seen The Office, but I enjoyed the film. Ricky Gervais is very funny in his performance of an out of touch middle-aged man liable to do very stupid things. Hilarity ensues whenever Brent sings one of his songs and Gervais’ writing managed to both shock and make me laugh every time.

Outside of the songs, some of the jokes do not land and the scenes often become awkward. Brent’s character – being a generally awkward person – can feel like an insurance policy for these moments, but they are uncomfortable to watch. The worst example is the scene where Brent takes two women back to his hotel room.

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David Brent joking about with his new office budd

A funny addition to the film is Doc Brown, who plays Dom. His scenes and narrative were some of the funniest parts of the film. Dan, a sound engineer played by Tom Basden, is also funny because of his contrast with Brent’s personality.

More negatively some of the character’s actions and dialogue is not consistent with earlier scenes and really should have been set up earlier in the film. In particular the film’s end seemed to come from nowhere.

Overall, David Brent made me laugh throughout, although some painful moments and an undeserved ending weaken the overall effect. If you are a fan of the original Office series, you will probably enjoy this film. If not, you might want to give it a miss.

★★★☆☆