The plot of The Bad Education Movie follows incompetent teacher Alfie Wickers (Jack Whitehall) and his mischievous yet beloved History class as they embark on a school trip to Cornwall; a treat promised by Alfie as a celebration for finishing their GCSE exams (after the school’s budget and the parents’ trust won’t stretch to a bender in Las Vegas). One mother isn’t pleased with the booze-filled itinerary so, much to everybody’s dismay, tags along in order to keep track of everyone, which undoubtedly provides platform for everything to once again go awry for Class K.
For fans of the show, I wouldn’t get your hopes up for the laugh-out-loud sarcasm and wit that you may be used to from Whitehall. All the classic components of a BBC3 comedy show are present in the film; and cringe-worthy, embarrassing humour, slapstick moments which will make you squeal (extreme close-up of Whitehall’s testicles on more than one occasion anyone?) and crude inside jokes to name but a few are used unsparingly without remorse by director Elliot Hegarty. Although, despite this, the majority of the main on-screen gimmicks seem forced, over-acted and tacky – something which just doesn’t work as well on the big-screen in my opinion.
Something I can give credit for is how typically and boldly British The Bad Education Movie is; from Harry Enfield’s portrayal of Alfie’s exasperated father to the dramatic end scene in which the Cornish residents parade in pride and in unison pronouncing Mr Wickers their hero for standing up to England. Despite the storyline going from silly to sillier, and some moments being almost unbearable to watch due to their stupidity, the characters really hold their own and the familiarity of loveable Joe (Ethan Lawrence), sassy Stephen (Layton Williams) and flirtatious Chantelle (Nikki Runeckles) really add a touch of relatability to the film.
The bottom line is, in terms of disastrous holiday flicks, The Bad Education Movie is no Inbetweeners or Kevin & Perry; but for die-hard fans of the television programme and for those looking for something easy and simple to watch, I would recommend waiting until it’s able to rent on DVD.