Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger is a surprisingly good movie. I was very impressed by this offering. David Tennant (Dr Who) once again shows his full acting range as he portrays a teacher in a very unusual school!
Pam Ferris (Call the Midwife) plays the headmistress Mrs. Bevan who has given the job of teaching assistant to her nephew. Mark Wooton plays the assistant from hell; Desmond Poppy whose actions cause all the other teachers to quit this particular class. Mr Donald Peterson (Tennant) is the next candidate. He’s already stressed as his wife (Joanna Page – Gavin & Stacey) is pregnant and not far giving birth.
Mrs. Bevan begs Donald to stay, offering him, her own job in three months time if he can turn the class and her nephew around.
Now there’s a ‘Song for Christmas’ contest coming, but Mrs. Bevans refuses to allow her nephew Desmond to enter, as he holds farting contests and acts like a child himself, she’s worried about the school’s reputation. So Desmond holds secret auditions, these are brilliant, in the style of Britain’s Got Talent.
Donald finds out, when one of the boys forgets about the ‘What singing contest auditions?’ rule. (Desmond has impressed upon them if asked to deny all knowledge!) But the boy forgets when asked what activities he likes doing by Donald.
Desmond wears down Donald’s objections by his madness and energy. It was brilliant to watch! Wooton is so funny as Desmond. From teaching the children ‘army like’ tactics to avoid being seen going to auditions such as sneaking under windows, to hiding behind objects and sneaking about. The best thing Desmond does is hiring a duck bus! He gets some of the other kids to cover for their absence, so they can take off for the contest. Que giving Mrs. Bevan a fake morning register to even using objects to put school jackets on so from the window the classroom looks full! It’s so mad.
Desmond gets the kids to help kidnap Donald, as they need a proper teacher. Tying him up with scarves and even bundling on top of him. The duck bus, is a water vehicle painted up, so it can go over water. They discover a baby on the bus which adds to the mayhem! Desmond forgot to check the fuel gauge – so they run out and have to trek through the hills. From changing the baby’s nappy to Desmond and Donald’s constant arguing, it’s one amusing thing to another.
In fact Tennant takes on two roles. Donald has a twin brother Roderick, who his father (Ian McNeice) prefers and compares him to. Will his dad ever see Donald’s achievements and can winning the contest be the answer?
There’s a lot of competition between the entrants, as signposts get moved and routines are copied. Can our group arrive on time and win?
The songs for the contest are fab. Riverdance even gets in one of the routines. There’s even a tribute to Justin Beiber by one group.
A thoroughly enjoyable experience. 8/10 from me.
Image reproduced from wikipedia.co.uk
Trailer reproduced from YouTube/Abanin Uinini
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