Following three hugely popular series on BBC Three, Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education has been given an Inbetweeners-style film spin-off. In typical sitcom movie style, it takes a bunch of characters fans already know and love and plonks them in a slightly more exotic setting, as Whitehall’s unconventional schoolteacher Alfie Wickers escorts his favourite class from Watford’s fictional Abbey Grove comprehensive on a post-GCSEs jaunt to Cornwall. But The Bad Education Movie is no half-baked cash-in; here are five reasons why it’s worth a trip to the cinema this weekend.
1. It goes so much further than the TV series.
With a film-sized budget at his disposal and no BBC bigwigs watching over him, Whitehall explained recently that “taste and decency issues can go out the window”. The film’s star and co-writer wasn’t joking: highlights include Alfie Wickers flashing his testicles, Alfie Wickers sexually assaulting a swan and Alfie Wickers swallowing a centuries-old human foreskin – after a dog has already swallowed it first, of course. And this is on top of all the usual Bad Education jokes about wanking and close-to-the-bone wordplay like the series’ classic line “someone lock this guy up in Bantanamo Bay”.
2. It really isn’t scared to kick good taste to the kerb.
The opening scene begins with Alfie Wickers inadvertently taking magic mushrooms at The Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam and ends with a hilarious homage to Steven Spielberg’s ET. We’ll leave you to find out what happens in between, but let’s just say none of it is even slightly PC. There’s also an incident involving the poor defenceless class hamster that will make even the steeliest viewer wince.
3. It doesn’t just feel like a long, dragged-out sitcom episode.
Director Elliot Hegarty, who previously shot seven episodes of the Bad Education TV series, keeps the pace super brisk and bouncy: if a particular joke falls flat, you’ll forget it 30 seconds later when the next good one comes along. “I’ve told the PE teacher over and over – touch rugby? Fine. Touch swimming? Letters [of complaint],” Harry Enfield’s deputy head deadpans at one point. And The Bad Education Movie ends with a genuinely cinematic climax involving a castle under siege, a fencing duel and Interpol (the international policing organisation, not the New York post-punk band).
4. You’ll get to experience Jack Whitehall’s incredible Cornish-Jamaican accent.
Seriously, it has to be heard to be believed. And yes, he says “pasty” with a Caribbean twang.
5. The film has a huge heart as well as loads of crude humour.
At its core The Bad Education Movie is a story about friendship. Picking up from the TV series, the bond that continues to blossom between eager-to-please Alfie Wickers and his motley crew of pupils in Class 3K is often very touching. When chubby youngster Joe (Ethan Lawrence) tells Alfie that his classroom was the one place at school he felt safe, you’ll find it hard to stop your bottom lip from quivering.