People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan (3 stars)

People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan

The BBC sitcom's big screen spin-off takes the pirate radio crew from Brentford to Tokyo

'Is a leotard worth a friendship of 15 years?' muses MC Grindah (Allan Mustafa) as things come to a surreal head in the big screen spin-off of the BAFTA-winning BBC sitcom People Just Do Nothing, directed by Jack Clough, who helmed all 27 episodes of the show. There's plenty more mockumentary-style madness in a film that sees the original cast and creators re-assemble as the crew of the now-defunct, Brentford-based pirate radio station Kurupt FM, who get a belated crack at success when one of their two tracks is used on a popular Japanese game show, and they're flown out to Tokyo by a record label.

Present and correct alongside MC Grindah are: his right-hand man DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin); drug fiend Steves (Steve Stamp), who we see preparing to stuff condoms full of pills up his butt ahead of their flight; Daniel Sylvester Woolford's quiet man Decoy, who gets a few beleaguered looks to the camera; and, of course, their laughably useless boss Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry), who admits that 'any sane manager would have quit a long time ago.' Grindah's flamboyant partner Miche (Lily Brazier) is also along for the ride and, on arrival, they're introduced to Ken Yamamura's slick A&R man Taka, who has some divisive ideas for their image, with sweet translator Ishika (Ayumi Itô) taking a surprise shine to Steves.

Although it's largely one for the fans, there are enough explainers to allow newbies to get quickly up to speed. As they peddle their poorly crafted brand of early 00s garage, the gang have been designed to be preposterous in any environment, but the Japanese setting adds a background of contrasting class to their antics and the familiar, fly-on-the-wall visuals, while the cultural misunderstandings just keep on coming.

It's pretty obvious and, let's be honest, sometimes borderline offensive stuff, though the humour is heavily at the expense of the idiotic British incomers and well-performed by all, with stand-out work from comic pros Mustafa and Chaudhry. And it solidly delivers on absurd scenarios, including an embarrassing photo shoot, a name change that makes the crew sound like a 'paedophile ring', and a TV appearance which leaves them clutching their crotches in shame.

Available to watch in cinemas from Wednesday 18 August.

People Just Do Nothing: Big In Japan – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures)

People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan

  • 3 stars
  • 2021
  • UK
  • 1h 37min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jack Clough
  • Written by: Lily Brazier, Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry
  • Cast: Lily Brazier, Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry
  • UK release: 18 August 2021

Big screen outing for the BBC comedy about a group of failed MCs.