UK Release Date: 14th April 2010
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 17th April 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Many people remember Ricky Gervais for his work on the TV show ‘The Office’. He also has a few movie roles under his belt. Now, I wasn’t a fan of ‘The Office’, but I did like the series he did called ‘Extras’ which also featured Steven Merchant. Why am I telling you this, you may ask, well, I watched this in the hope it would be a little more like ‘Extras’ than ‘The Office’… Fortunately it is. Unfortunately, although it’s good, it’s not all that great either. I’ll explain more after this brief summary (summary haters, and those that don’t wish to know about the plot, please pack you bags while I write the next paragraph).
Three friends, Freddie Taylor, Bruce Pearson and Snork (real name Dave), all live in a small village outside Reading called Cemetery Junction. Freddie has just got a job as an insurance salesman, he lives with his parents and his grandmother. Bruce works in a factory with Freddie’s father and lives with his dad. His mother having left when he was young and he is always getting into fights and ending up in the Police cells. Snork, well, we’re not told too much about Snork, apart from the fact that he’s a bit stupid and he works at the railway station. Freddie’s boss, Mr Kendrick, has a daughter, Julie, who is engaged to Freddie’s co-worker, Mike Ramsay. They went to school together many years ago and still have a bit of a rapport together. The story revolves around these characters and their ambitions, for one reason or another, to get out of the place they are in. Will they all make it? Or is there something, or someone, to keep them in Cemetery Junction? Guess I had better not say any more or I’ll be banged up in the cells with Bruce by the Spoiler Police.
Decent performances all round, although nobody was really stretched. Christian Cooke was ok as Freddie Taylor, Tom Hughes did a good job as the brooding Bruce Pearson and Jack Doolan provided the comic relief as Snork. Ralph Fiennes as Mr. Kendrick, Ricky Gervais as Mr. Taylor and Felicity Jones as Julie were all ok without being stretched too much. There were two notable performances though (IMO); I thought both Emily Watson as the downtrodden Mrs Kendrick and Steve Speirs as Sgt. Wyn Davies both did an excellent job.
I found the film, as a whole, a bit hit and miss. There were hints of the excellence shown in the writing of ‘Extras’, but it never really quite developed in the way I was expecting. It is set in the 1970’s and the moods, styles and the attitudes of the time are very well portrayed. Also the music is great with many hits from the period featuring. At the end of the day I guess it’s worth a look if you liked ‘Extras’, but if you’re an avid fan of ‘The Office’ maybe give this one a miss.
My Score: 6.3/10
(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1196204/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/cemetery_junction/
Official Site: http://www.cemeteryjunction.co.uk/