Spoilers may follow
Fifteen years after the ending of The Office (the original UK version), former regional manager of Wernham Hogg David Brent (Ricky Gervais) now works as a sales rep selling toiletries. However, he decides to take some time off so he can travel with an updated version of his band Foregone Conclusion along with rapper Don Johnson (Doc Brown). His band, however, is not as successful as he hopes, due to Brent’s over-confident and unintentionally offensive nature.
Like The Office before it, David Brent: Life on the Road is set out like a pseudo-documentary, telling its story through interviews and narration. Yes, even the good old “Handbags and Gladrags” song does pop up in the film. It is a continuation of the series and not an adaptation like this year’s Dad’s Army was, yet I feel the same way about Brent that I did about Army; it’s a fine, amusing film, but there’s still the sense that it’s not as funny as its small-screen counterpart.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some laughs to be had here. Not big belly laughs, mind, just small chuckles. There is still some humour in how Brent bungles up songs meant to be large issues and the audience’s reactions to said songs. Despite what he says and does, Brent still manages to come off as slightly sympathetic so you still want to see where he ends up. However, there does still seem to be something missing, and the film feels a bit longer than ninety-six minutes. Some of the jokes, including one about pelicans, seem to overstay their welcome.
Gervais is still enjoyable to watch, as is Doc Brown, yet the two characters don’t really have that much chemistry together. Still, David Brent: On the Road is an alright film with some laughs, but you’d be better off just rewatching the series.