Relocating from the gloomy tower blocks of West London to the bright lights of Tokyo, People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan makes a strong jump to cinema.
It’s not often that a British sitcom goes beyond its first or second season before running its course or being cancelled due to lack of interest. In actual fact, even when these shows do manage to have some moderate critical success, more often than not, they just don’t tend to get given the time to grow or evolve in the same way as their US counterparts.
In the case of People Just Do Nothing, this innocuous BBC Three mockumentary series about a group of deluded UK Garage DJs, MCs and assorted shit-talkers from Brentford, became an overnight success when it first aired in 2014. Ending on a high on its fifth season, the show has continued to be one of the most watched programmes on the BBC’s very own streaming service.
After a two year absence, fans of the show will once more be reunited with Kurupt FM’s very own MC Grindah (Allan Mustafa), DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin), Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) and stoner Steves (Steve Stamp) in what turns out to be an hilarious movie spinoff titled People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan. And yes, you’ve guessed it, the story has now relocated from the dark and gloomy tower blocks of West London to the bright lights of Tokyo with more high jinks, awkward silences and delusional hubris.
Invited to perform their biggest Garage hit on a popular Japanese game show, Grindah, Beats et al soon realise that all isn’t exactly as they had been led to believe by their new Japanese manager (Ken Yamamura). Reduced to performing under the new name of The Bang Boys, the group soon realise that they’re nothing but the butt of a very unfunny joke.
Director Jack Clough and writers Steve Stamp and Allan Mustafa present a beautifully observed, smart and hilariously funny satirical comedy which is careful to never punch down. Elevated by four gorgeously layered performances, the film does exactly what is expected from it by ribbing its characters gently whilst furnishing us with more reasons to care for them, even when they are at their most infuriatingly delusional.
Fans of the series will be delighted to be finally reunited with this loveable bunch if idiots even if it’s for one last time. As for the rest, you don’t need to be au fait with all things UKG to enjoy Big In Japan, but let’s face it, it helps. It’s also worth looking out for a charming subplot involving Steves as a potential love interest, even if he doesn’t realise it himself until the very end.
Genuinely heartening stuff, but not for the easily offended.
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