A legend in his own mind.
It’s been 13 years since we last caught up with David Brent, star of the BBC mockumentary series The Office. Ricky Gervais’s excruciating comic creation has since fallen to the bottom of the corporate ladder following redundancy from Wernham Hogg, where he was top dog.
Now he’s a tampon sales rep chasing big dreams as a rock star. Cashing in his pension funds and taking unpaid leave, Brent hits the road with band Foregone Conclusion for a tour that will hopefully end with a recording contract, and needless to say it’s a foregone conclusion that the cringe factor will be dialled up to eleven.
The world has become more politically correct but Brent hasn’t, belting out songs like “Don’t Make Fun of the Disabled” and “Native American” to the disbelief of a scant audience and the contempt of his bandmates.
Fans of The Office will know exactly what to expect, but should note that this is strictly the David Brent show – don’t expect to catch up with Tim, Gareth and Dawn. We do meet his new workmates at Lavichem, however, including kindred spirit Nigel (Tom Bennett), who manages to register in a film that’s a showcase for Gervais, as does Doc Brown as the open-mike rapper whose promising career Brent has hijacked for his own delusional ends.
Once again, the awkward humour comes less from Brent’s abrasive persona than others reactions to it, as captured with candid precision by a documentary film crew. It’s funny, squirm-inducing stuff, although a last minute segue into sentiment is unnecessary – we pity Brent already.
In cinemas: August 25, 2016
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Tom Bennett, Doc Brown
Directed by: Ricky Gervais