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Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?


Stars: Martin Clunes, Marc Wootton, Catherine Tate, Adam Garcia, Celia Imrie, Lauren Hobbs, Stewart Wright, Jason Watkins, Ralf Little, Simon Lipkin, Susie Blake, Duncan Preston

Director: Debbie Isitt

Some sequels suck.

In terms of adult entertainment, this seriously silly attempt to continue to milk a proven cash cow could effortlessly suck the Atlantic Ocean dry. However, easily amused kids who enjoy watching grown-ups makes total asses of themselves may find enough to laugh at this early Christmas ‘treat’: accompanying adults, however, should take eye masks, ear-plugs and the most powerful sleeping tablets they can get hold of.

‘Donkey’ is a key word in writer-director Debbie Isitt’s screenplay. The batty beast in question dances and farts to please the kids and, as Celia Imrie’s stern-faced head teacher observes, “There’s donkey poo everywhere”. Add to that a vicar who belches and you can see the obvious appeal of the sorry show to youngsters. Older kids might well see it as punishment for pre-Christmas crimes.

There’s even a plot, not that it really matters since it’s simply a framework obvious ‘humour’, equally obvious pratfalls and energetic song-and-dance numbers. The narrative arc kicks off in the Coventry school that was the site of the two previous pictures and has Imrie sweating over the imminent arrival of Ofsted and battling with the over-the-top idiocy of ‘madcap’ teaching assistant Marc Wooten and his dancing ass. New teacher Martin Clunes loses his memory (I really envied him), forgetting his imminent marriage to Catherine Tate, giving wicked Adam Garcia a chance to make Tate his bride and setting the scene for a happy ending in New York with the Coventry pupils dancing away on top of the Empire State Building…

If the patent enthusiasm of all concerned to sell the show was infectious, ‘Nativity 3’ might seem more entertaining. As it was, I admired the cast for working so hard without much success in terms of adult entertainment. And at least the movie gave me something to think about during the seemingly endless show – how the hell did the dancing donkey make it from Coventry to the Big Apple and then to the Empire State viewing gallery?

Utterly undemanding youngster rating: 5 out of 10.

Alan Frank

UK 2014. UK Distributor: EOne. Colour.
109 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 13 Nov 2014