Just another day at The Office...

Over 15 years ago, The Office graced our television screens here in the UK creating a franchise that has stood the test of time and made legitimate stars out of numerous cast members. Now, funny man and The Office co-creator Ricky Gervais dives back into character once again, but this time on the big screen with David Brent: Life on the Road.

Not much has changed for the consummate, cringe inducing, foot in mouth bearer that is David Brent (Ricky Gervais), whilst no longer working or residing at the paper mill in Slough, Brent is still spending some time at your run-of-the-mill office - albeit now as a standard employee instead of a boss.

Friends with new double-act comedy workmate Nigel (Tom Bennett) and oblivious admirer Pauline (Jo Hartley), Brentís new job at Lavichem has him travelling up and down the country as a sales rep, but he still yearns - and has plans - for something far greater.

With his brief stardom of the previous documentary firmly in the rearview mirror, a brand new mockumentary is now in the works, this time chronicling - and tailing - Brentís upcoming tour - if you can call doing a handful of local gigs a tour - with his new upstart band; Forgone Conclusion.

Armed with a - fully paid up - band who cringe at the very sight of him, and a token black friend (Ben played by Doc Brown, a true highlight of the film) who wants to make it big in the industry as a rapper, the ensemble hit the road - cue music and cringe.

The best thing about David Brent: Life on the Road is that it feels like an episode of the classic series we all know and love. Whilst only the character of Brent is showcased throughout, the joke setups, locations, camera work and overall feel of the film, truly imbue the show with many laugh out loud moments throughout.

Gervais - who was a one-hit wonder in a previous life - and Doc Brown are known for their musical talents, and they are on full showcase here, you even get the impression that Gervais is using these small musical numbers as a sort of personal catharsis. Likewise Ricky Gervais' more recent writing offerings such as Derek rear their head, with a heartwarming message that his later creations are more prevalent for; leading fans of his works to feel right at home with David Brent: Life on the Road.

David Brent: Life on the Road - Forgone Conclusion (Ricky Gervais, Doc Brown aka Ben Bailey Smith, Andy Burrows, Steve Clarke, Michael Clarke and Stuart Wilkinson)

The worst thing about David Brent: Life on the Road is that it feels like an episode of the classic series we all know and love, so much in fact, that it could easily be a holiday special that weíd sit around the TV with our family come Christmas time, itís definitely not of a cinematic quality you would expect for a film - that you are frankly paying to watch - in terms of budget nor scope.

It also never breaks its formulaic - and at this point stale - mould, of Brent saying or putting himself into an awkward situation, then looking reassuringly into the camera; as if to ask the audience ďdid you get the joke?Ē. It was a novel concept over a decade ago, but at this point itís beating a dead horse, that is unfortunately used like a machine gun within David Brent: Life on the Road leading you to quickly grow tired long before its conclusion.

Speaking of conclusions, like a stand-up comedian being ushered off stage with a stick, it abruptly wraps up with little to no setup or fanfare, feeling hamfisted and rightly leaving you a little puzzled as to how David Brent: Life on the Road arrived at this destination.

Fans of The Office will find delight within moments of David Brent: Life on the Road, whilst the film focuses on just the single character, it manages to bring a lot of the spirit and charm the show is known for. Unfortunately film goers overall will likely be disappointed, with what feels like a budget TV special on the big screen and will likely leave expect something more grandiose.

David Brent: Life on the Road is currently available to buy on Blu-ray & DVD or on-demand via Amazon Video.

  • Review by
    David Robinson

    Twitter: @5ypher

    Posted on
    23rd August 2016

  • 3 Out of 5 Stars
  • Feels like The Office tv special

    Abrupt, hamfisted ending

    Fails to break the mould

  • Feels like The Office tv special

    Quite a few funny moments

    Doc Brown

Film Info

David Brent: Life on the Road David Brent: Life on the Road
Rating: 15
Release Date: 19th August
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins
Director: Ricky Gervais
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Doc Brown, Jo Hartley, Tom Bennett, Andrew Brooke, Tom Basden & Abbie Murphy

  • The Office
  • Derek
  • Extras

Yes, whilst there is some crude humour nothing is too over the top or offensive to young children.

A partnership YouTube series was created for the film titled; Learn Guitar With David Brent.

The Office co-creator Stephen Mechant was not involved in the process of making this film.