After suffering through the original Bean movie, I had been dreading the sequel. Yet despite my antipathy towards the character (like all right-thinking people, I prefer Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder) the film gradually won me over as Bean’s more obnoxious traits were sidelined in favour of a Tati-esque tour de France. Director of both this and the League of Gentlemen’s film was Steve Bendelack, which bodes well for his next project, The Harry Hill Movie.
But most British film comedy nowadays involves small-screen comedians with no notion of what makes a movie tick. Richard Curtis’s films feel more like collections of cobbled-together skits than properly developed stories (About Time hasn’t yet come out where I live, so I can’t say if that has bucked the trend). The disconnected sketch effect was also evident in Chris Morris’ sporadically hilarious but shambolic Four Lions, and Paul King’s Bunny and the Bull, which felt like three back-to-back episodes of The Mighty Boosh (which made it 70 minutes too long in my book). Andrew O’Connor’s Magicians, with David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying were single sketch ideas stretched out to excruciating feature length.