Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?

Director: Debbie Isitt

Starring: Martin Clunes, Marc Wootton, Catherine Tate, Adam Garcia, Celia Imrie, Ralf Little

Written by: Debbie Isitt

Running Time: 109 mins

Cert: U

Release date: 14th November 2014

If someone was to offer me the option of having my teeth removed without gas or seeing this monstrosity of movie again, the trip to the dentist would be far more entertaining. Yes, if you thought Nativity 2 was terrible, you ain’t seen nothing yet! This will drain out any hint of Christmas spirit from you.

The school of St Bernadette is having a visit from a Ofsted inspector so they bring in super teacher, Mr Shepherd. He, unfortunately, gets kicked in the head by a donkey (?) and loses his memory. He is going to be married in New York to Sophie but he can’t go so teaching assistant Mr Poppy (?????) has a plan to enter the children into a flash mob contest where the first prize is a trip to New York as arranged by flash mob superstar and Sophie’s ex, Bradley Finch, who is still in love with Sophie.

Writer and director Debbie Isitt uses as much improvisation as possible, telling the cast very little about each scene. It shows. It’s like watching a very bad amateur company putting on Shakespeare. The script (as such) is so contrived that you need to be a genius to work out what exactly is going on. None of the scenes make any sense. The jokes don’t exist and the acting is so bad, you wonder exactly how the talented actors got to the positions they did in the theatrical world.

Throughout the film, the annoying kids start performing unmemorable songs that makes you wonder why the cinema staff didn’t supply sound blockers. This is punctuated by a 20 minutes sequence in the middle where the kids perform in the flash mob, along with other, massively untalented kids. It looks like they went to the worst performing arts school in the country and said “You’ll do!”

Then there’s the adults. You would have thought that Martin Clunes, Catherine Tate, Celia Imrie and Adam Garcia could make anything seem reasonable good. You would be wrong. Clunes lumbers around in the most ridiculous outfits (because the “kids” think he looks cool) while going “who are you?” every five minutes, to remind us that he has lost his memory. Ms Tate spends the first half in a hotel room on the phone and the second half of the film going from one man to the other. Mr Garcia, with his best macho man look, as Bradley Finch, just looks embarrassed. The sin upon sin comes from Celia Imrie as the head mistress, who has to deliver the most tasteless line in cinema history when she asks Mr Poppy if he has special…powers! You fill in the blanks.

Then there is Marc Wootton’s Mr Poppy, the most annoying man on-screen. He is not funny. He is not sympathetic. He is just the most vile, horrendous character ever to be created and he should now stop and just go away. It’s not clever and definitely not funny.

I know this is the season of good will to all but after seeing Nativity 3, good will went out the window and was replaced by anger and hatred. Hatred for everyone who was involved in this overlong, sickening mess that looks like it was filmed by a child, written by children and the actors were directed by children. I would have got more joy watching someone squeezing a spot!

It insults the intelligence of its audience and this might even push the patience of the very young, use to watching sophistication like Frozen. It is in very close competition for the worst film this year along side Pudsey The Dog The Movie. This might have pushed its way in front.



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