People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan (2021)

People Just Do Nothing is one of the funniest comedies the BBC has had to offer in recent years. Following the incredibly popular mockumentary style that has become increasingly common in the comedy format for TV shows, People Just Do Nothing follows a group of aspiring musicians who run a pirate radio station, Kurupt FM, and their quest to hit the big time. The show ran from 2014 to 2018 with the film, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan seeing us revisit the group as their signature song has seen a huge surge of popularity after being used in a game show in Japan. The boys hit Japan in the hopes of starting their professional careers and, as expected, run into all kinds of hilarious problems along the way. Just like 2016’s Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan shows that you can have a lot of fun with a cinematic feature based on a sitcom with fantastic results.

Directed by Jack Clough and written by the cast, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan remains true to its roots. Not falling for common traps normally committed by films based on TV shows, the characters’ actions in the film feel true to how they would act on the show rather than making them caricatures or something less risky to please a larger audience. This is a film that has been made with the fan base in mind and with plenty of inside jokes and references to events that happened on the show, long time fans are sure to be happy with the results. Even those who haven’t watched the show before are sure to have a great time as the characters are well established and the introduction makes the following events of the film clear so as not to alienate the audience. Clough’s direction cleverly sticks to the mockumentary style and the script is well paced so as not to feel like an extended episode. The cast and crew make the most of the location filming and allow the audience to really see the most of Japan.

Reprising his role as the franchise’s lead, Allan Mustafa is great as MC Grindah, who agrees to fully corporate with the Japanese record company who want to make the group mainstream by giving them a complete image makeover that is world’s apart from what they present. Mustafa’s performance is on top form and he ensures that Grindah is as funny and deluded as ever. The premise of the film is simply but the way that Mustafa performs allows us to see real growth in Grindah as he begins to lose grip of his roots and starts to become fashioned into the record label’s image of what a successful musician should be like. We see the mental anguish that he feels as he is pulled in each direction until he has a major breakdown while still providing his signature comical performance so the film isn’t dragged down by the seriousness.

Could there really be a People Just Do Nothing film without Asim Chaudhry as the iconic Chabuddy G? The answer is no and luckily, we don’t have to wonder as Chaudhry is on top form as everyone’s favourite manager. It’s just a shame that he isn’t in it more but as we see Chabuddy’s position as manager threatened, we begin to see his life unravel in a way that seems even worse than what we have seen before. We see plenty of laughs as Chabuddy tries to bluff his way through a variety of situations but there is also a sincere side that we see as he tries to stop Grindah but venturing down a path that isn’t true to his image.

There were so many highlights in this film from the hilarious reveal of the group’s stage costumes to the dance moves they are expected to learn but the greatest development to arise from the film is the relationship between Steves (Steve Stamp) and Miki (Hitomi Souno). Steves is often the fall guy of the group and often finds himself in the worst circumstances but doesn’t really mind due to his permanently drug induced state but it is his scenes with record label employee Miki that provides the majority of laughs throughout the film. You may have watched the film and wondered if there is anyone who can match Steves’ level of weirdness and the film answers that question. What starts as hysterical shenanigans soon turns into something more and it is lovely to see Steves develop another layer and see a different side to him.

Overall, People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan isn’t afraid to have fun and allows fans and newcomers to the franchise alike enjoy their adventures. With plenty of laughs and hysterical characterisation, this is definitely a film that will pleasantly surprise you and is entertaining to watch.

What did you think of People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan? Let me know in the comments below!

People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan is available to watch in cinemas now!

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