Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?! (2014)


Where do I start with this movie review? Honestly the worst film I’ve seen this year, a festive film with all joy and reason sucked out leaving a void of squeaky children, nonsense and horrendous songs. I know it’s a kid’s film but all good ones have something for grown ups and this doesn’t even seem to have any magic that would entertain kids. A mess of a movie through and through.

St. Bernadette’s are expecting an Ofsted inspection and with the arrival of apparent super teacher Jeremy Shepherd (Martin Clunes) the school hope to pass with flying colours. Though the presence of Mr Poppy (Marc Wootton) and a donkey interfere leaving Jeremy forgetting his entire character, his daughter and wife to be Sophie (Catherine Tate). It’s up to a bunch of the school and Mr Poppy to make Jeremy remember who he is through memories, flash mobs and a trip to New York where Sophie nervously expects a jilted wedding.

Normally I’d go through plots, music, direction etc…etc, mixing in negatives with the positives and expanding on any bad points (if any) in the near to last paragraphs. This time around however, I can’t even pick a single good point in this film. I’ve tried, my head has hurt trying to think of one small sliver of genuine positiveness the film has, but to no avail. It feels like a scramble of under 10 year old scamps hyped on Ribena have doodled ideas on paper, the terrible director Debbie Isitt; culprit of one of the worst offences this year, has taken these notes, melded them together, terrified the kids into pushy scenes and created this hot disaster of a feature.

It’s torture, truly it never feels glorious or sparkling with that Christmas pleasantry. It stretches like the Ice Age, feeling longer than Interstellar and gaping with plot holes stretching further than the wormhole in Nolan’s film too. I won’t go into any of the mistakes in case you happen to want to see this film but where are the parents, what’s happened to passport control and how did Mr. Poppy ever get his job?

The main theme of this film is flash mobbing, you know that unexpected increasing size of people dancing or singing in unison that felt fresh over 5-6 years ago. A tired fad is used as the running competition which already bores you from the outset, the choreography is dull and not even cool enough to warrant the constant attacks of flash mob crime that stabs you in the eye. The singing itself could be quite cute but then it’s all disastrously lip-synced, even the adult actors mime to the shoddy played in songs. The title of this film never feels true as the donkey is no story line really, however it does serve as the title for the oh so trying earworm and shock horror song planted in the film.

It’s a movie that looks and reeks of cheapness. Tacky ideas get green-lit leading to scenes that could easily have been edited or left on the cutting room floor. Lengthy hiding sequences, elf puns and the film itself could have benefited from not being there. The worst offence of all is in the character of Mr Poppy who is one of the worst movie characters I’ve ever had the misfortune to see. It’s like watching a wannabe street smart adult with the IQ of a sponge bounding around like a jacked up kangaroo with an appearance akin to Doofy in ‘Scary Movie’. I’ve never hated someone so much and how he leads this trilogy is a mystery.

It pains to see a British film burn the pride out of our movie making industry leaving nothing but the charred remains of the Union Jack. A memory loss film that only leaves you desiring to forget it too. If a lot of children lap this up then they’ve missed out on seeing good quality Christmas films, that’s the only reason I can think of for people enjoying this dud of a film. It’s a never ending hell ride and one I hope leaves the prospect of Nativity 4 firmly in the no camp.

A big fat turkey of a film. Please do not go see this.



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