Directed by Iain Morris, co-creator of The Inbetweeners and starring Joe Thomas star of said classic teen TV comedy, The Festival follows the adventures of recently dumped Nick and his besty Shane as they travel to a festival to escape the rigors of real life and allow Nick time to get over a broken heart. Cue a series of events that they must work their way through to become better more well adjusted people in the final act. Well probably that’s how it went, I don’t know, I walked out two thirds through this…
So yes, this review is now completely redundant as I can only fairly comment on the hour or so that I watched of it. Now you are probably wondering why we walked out, and I can’t really find any other reason than, I did not enjoy any of this. Now I loved The Inbetweeners, and the movies, and this, I thought would essentially be another in the same vein, however there is definitely something amiss from this screenplay and putting my finger on it was easy. In The Inbetweeners, we have a core cast of characters that we have empathy for – we may not like them as human beings much, but we can understand their problems and engage with them. The ensemble cast work together, we believe in them and we ultimately care about what happens to them.
By the time we get to The Festival, we are asked to engage with a small group of absolutely horrible leads, that are self centered, selfish, child-like despite being at least in their 20’s and with no discernible good qualities. The only one that seems anywhere likable is Shane, played by Hammed Animashaum, and even he seems to be struggling with the script. There are so many unfunny gags here, in the first hour, and the funniest moments could all have come from The Inbetweeners anyway. Joe Thomas is pretty much playing the same part as he always does, and that’s a shame, as I’m sure he’s capable of doing so much more, if he could get the right script to work from. He is a very capable actor and deserves more than this.
As the plot, (it’s not really a plot), moves forward, we get various set pieces such as the discovery of a Druid cult in the forest and an encounter with a group of girls at a Hen Party dressed as Smurfs. The whole festival seems devoid of any real acts, the soundtrack uses Mr Brightside 3 times in a row and although the festival is a large teeming mass of people, characters meet up quite easily with barely an inconvenience, until they actually need to find someone in particular, then it’s a problem.
Now I know you have probably stopped reading this, how can I review a film I never watched till the end? But if you’ve hung in there, I guess I should explain that I’m probably too old to really enjoy this film now and I could find nothing either funny or entertaining in it. However, in my defense, as someone who watches a lot of films, I can still appreciate a film that was not intended for my demograph. Last week I went to see Teen Titans Go! To The Movies, and it was funnier than this. This film just seemed to be scraping the bottom of a barrel that had been emptied out a long time ago. The characters were cliched, the script was weak, the backdrop was un-convincing and life is too short to sit through a film that is so badly put together that you start to regret the time you are wasting just being in there.
If you love The Inbetweeners, like festivals, enjoy very crude sexual jokes including goats, think awkward silences and repeated words in conversations are still hilarious, then you might get something from this pile of mis matched sketches, otherwise save your money and go see Teen Titans!