Recent Releases – Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?

nativity-3

Hogwash. Baloney. Drivel. Idiocy. Rigmarole. Ludicrousness…

These are only some of the words that come up after searching the word ‘Crap’ in the Thesaurus. Coincidentally, these are also the words that reluctantly fly around in your sub-conscience after watching the absolute drivel that is ‘Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?‘ The hardest part of writing this review (other than having to think about the film) is thinking where to begin. Now I would gladly lay out the plot in order for me to bullet point all the things that are wrong with it; but the problem with doing so is that the plot is so absurdly complicated and awkward that I would not have a clue where to begin. Therefore, I will pick things out and go into as much detail as I can.

When the film started I couldn’t help but think that this was just a fun and stupid way of getting kids and participating relatives to feel the Christmas cheer; we’ve seen it before almost every year and we as average movie goers often fall for the charm. Firstly, we are introduced to the character of Mr. Poppy, who takes the ‘pantomime’ style of acting to an all new level in film acting. After being unexpectedly sacked from his teaching assistant role at a primary school, Mr. Poppy takes it on himself to infiltrate the school in order to get his job back by doing many things which I can only imagine are highly illegal (one of which is to dress up as a student and sit with the children). His only obstacle is the film’s protagonist Jeremy Shepard (Martin Clunes) who is a ‘super teacher’ there to save the school from the dreaded Ofsted inspection. At the same time in the midst of all this, Jeremy is due to marry Catherine Tate’s character Sophie in New York, that is unless the ‘flash mob’ enthusiast celebrity Bradley Finch doesn’t get there first. Mr. Poppy and ALL of the children of the school team up with Jeremy and his daughter after Jeremy is kicked in the head by a donkey, resulting in extreme memory loss…

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Look, this film is awful. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, what with the title of the film being as ridiculous as it is. I shouldn’t have to tell you why the framing is so off and why the lighting is incredibly poor. I perhaps shouldn’t have to explain why the sound editing is oh so extremely bad. Critically and commercially this film bombed at the box office. Yet, this is a prime example of film companies cashing in on franchises (what with the casual success of the first two Nativity films) but ironically the film made little to no money. The worst thing about this film is that it’s soul demographic is children. It’s an apparent trait for money grabbing screen writers and producers who seem to think that they can be extremely lazy when making a film such as this, probably because their audience is kids. Why is this? Is it because kids are stupid and have no sense of what makes a good film? I truly believe that children deserve much (MUCH) better than this. Look at the Toy Story franchise, all three films are cleverly written and beautifully crafted. Where as ‘Nativity 3: Dude Where’s My Donkey?‘ takes the demographic of children, gives them a poorly written plot holed script with awful acting and a purposelessly awful beginning, middle and end. What’s most baffling is how this film manages to attract popular British actors such as Martin Clunes and Catherine Tate? It’s like Movie 43 all over again.

The grand finale (and the whole of the third act) takes place in New York, which is obviously just a set dressed up as the Empire State Building. This is so painfully obvious as nearly the entire portion of the film, which is set in New York, is only shot inside one building. Plus the only American character is played a by British actor with an awful American accent. The film pushes at a problematic situation until it’s very worst, (there was that cliched signature point in the film where I looked down at my watch and questioned whether it would have a happy ending considering the run time is only so long) all of sudden in a literal split second; the situation is resolved and everything is fine. Without any explanation the characters are all back in their perfect balance as if nothing had happened. The film climaxes on the roof of the Empire State Building in what I can only imagine is some sort of an attempt at a romantic scene previously seen in films such as Sleepless in Seattle and so on. Then the whole cast starts dancing… including the donkey.

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Verdict? This film should be forgotten. The only reason why I could possibly recommend this film would be to anyone who is looking for a film that is so bad that, in turn, is unintentionally hilarious. A hilariousity if you will. If you are looking for a film to show your child at Christmas, then show them something which is more on their intellectual level.

1 Lost Donkey out of 5

By Sam Collins

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