Whenever we’ve done a review on this site, it’s usually been either something we know (or at least hope) we are going to like, or for something we know we won’t like. Well, now it’s time to do a review for something where we went into it totally impartial. It’s time for the Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie Review.
It’s always difficult for a successful TV show to take the the leap onto the big screen. There’s always high expectations and, due to experience, people tend to go into it not very hopeful. I haven’t seen Mrs Brown’s Boys on TV. I’ve caught brief glimpses when Mother’s watched it and heard good reviews from my grandparents, but I’ve never actually sat and watched an episode. However, I like this classic type of comedy and after dragging my Grandad to see Muppets Most Wanted the other week, I thought it only fair to accompany my grandparents and mother to see this.
Before the film started, there was a black screen and Brendan O’Carroll’s distinct voice announced some safety instructions. Mrs Brown pointed out the fire exits using a clever bit of panning and then told us “In the event of a fire, you will here the following noise… Feck me there’s a fire!” which got a lot of laughs from the audience.
The film itself opened slowly, with a lot of nothing happening during the title credits. During this bit, it was old people walking around with empty prams (which we later learn are to put the food in) and people dancing and singing in the market. This is typical of this sort of film, and it’s something I don’t like. Why do they need to go into a song and dance routine for no reason? Nobody does that in real life. I know it’s a fictional movie but it just felt like a waste of time. Although, the dancing was not perfectly choreographed, with a couple of people bumping into each other and missing their cues. If this was intentional then I like it. If not then they need to fire the choreographer.
After the titles, we saw Mrs Brown in the usual set from the TV show. Seeing this on the big screen was a bit odd, because it was lit how it would be for TV, so it didn’t feel very cinematic, it was just like watching a massive TV screen. The character opened with the traditional breaking of the fourth wall introduction, leading us outside into the studio set, which she pulled down to reveal the actual location. This was a nice little intro which played on the format of the TV show but sort of said “Right, this is going to be bigger than what you’ve seen before, we’re doing this properly now.”
There was quite a bit of breaking the fourth wall in the film, which at points seemed unnecessary but now and then was used to good effect. One example is in the National Records reception where they actually leave an outtake in and then cut to the same scene done properly. This might seem a little odd, but I thought it was a really clever idea to show alternate jokes for a scene and it got a lot of laughs from the audience too. Here’s a clip of that bit:
Brendan O’Carroll put in a good performance as the title character, but there was nobody that really stood out as a great character or great acting. There seemed to be quite a large cast of supporting characters, so we didn’t really get to see a lot of each of them. I suppose fans of the TV show will already know a lot about them, but for the casual viewer it would’ve been nice to see them developed a bit more. A few of the characters seemed to be there just to add a bit of racist comedy, including an Indian guy who everyone kept referring to as Jamaican – funny the first time but the joke wore off very quickly – and a blind Chinese ninja played by Brendan O’Carroll. While it was nice to see O’Carroll playing another role, in a sort of Monty Python type way, the character wasn’t very good and really very racist, with make up to give him Asian looking eyes and a dodgy accent to boot. There were also a group of Russian thugs who weren’t that threatening and more like comedy villains.
Talking of comedy, there were a few good laughs but a lot of the jokes fell flat. There was one where a woman was on about what to get her friend for her birthday and Mrs Brown said “Get her a book.” and the woman said “Nah, she’s got one.” which was pretty decent joke, albeit thrown in randomly, that made me COL (Chuckle Out Loud), but nobody in the cinema laughed. As I said, there were some good jokes. There’s a bit where they’re at a funeral and she tells the vicar to hurry up and he starts quickly mumbling it and they run off, that got a good laugh. There were also a lot of musical references, with songs like the themes from A Team and Chariots of Fire being used for comedy purposes. Whilst they were relevant and probably funny, it did start to feel like there was one too many references going on. Some of the jokes were quite predictable too, like when she confesses to the vicar and you know from the start of the scene that the bad guy is going to be in the box too, mainly because we’d seen someone unexpectedly appearing in the confession box earlier.
The plot itself was fairly strong, revolving around Mrs Brown potentially losing her stall while her friends and family try to save it. This did lead to some pretty random ideas, including blind ninjas and a guy preparing to swim the channel only to realise he thought she said canal. There were also some ideas that weren’t executed as well as they could have been, like the lawyer with tourettes. However, the plot played out quite nicely, including a few emotional scenes that added a bit to the drama of the film.
Overall, I’d say this film is okay. It’s not the funniest of films, but it’s a nice little romp if you’re a fan of that type of humour. Grandad though it was pretty decent too, saying “It was alright, it wasn’t great. A few good jokes.” I don’t think it’s as bad as some of the critics are making out, but then again they’re probably comparing it to the TV show and not giving it a fair shot. I don’t particularly recommend you see it, but I wouldn’t avoid it if it came on TV in a few years time. I also feel more open to watching the TV show. I won’t make a point of buying the DVD to watch it, but if it’s on TV I’ll no longer spurt obscenities and change the channel to see what else is on.
Our rating: (3 / 5)