The Harry Hill Movie - DVD Review

'sadly resigns Hill to joining the long list of successful TV stars who have unsuccessfully made the move from small screen to big'.

If you're not a fan of Harry Hill's particular line of humour, it's quite likely that you've not even bothered to read this review beyond the title. But, on the off chance you have, I'll save you the bother of reading any further: The Harry Hill Movie will do absolutely nothing to change your mind. If Hill's brand of anarchic, childlike surrealism has grated on you in the past, it will grate just as much as ever here. The real disappointment is that if - like me - you are a fan of Hill, chances are his first venture into the world of movie-making will leave you sorely disappointed.

It's not that Hill and his co-stars' hearts aren't in the right place, as everything here is good-natured and never offensive. In fact, it's constantly apparent that everyone involved has clearly had great fun throughout making The Harry Hill Movie. There are moments every so often that are genuinely funny - usually sections most reminiscent of Hill's non sequitur sketch comedy style seen on TV, such as a sequence early on depicting the follicly challenged funnyman inexplicably battling a coop full of machine-gun-toting chickens.

The problem is that these more successful elements are far too sporadic to save the remainder of Hill's film, which overwhelmingly falls flat. Whilst the comedian's humour has always had an element of juvenility, a lot of what's here feels like it actually belongs in a middle-of-the-road children's TV programme. Hill’s decision to surround himself for the duration of the film with his nan (Julie Walters) and his pet hamster Abu - an obnoxious puppet voiced by Johnny Vegas - is a mistake which irritates from very early on.

Elsewhere, the comedy feels tired and unoriginal. It's something I’ve never found to be the case with Hill in the past, and yet clich├ęd gags are perpetually rolled out here. A visit to a nuclear power station predictably leads to Abu temporarily becoming a Godzilla-like radioactive monster. A boxing sequence has both a Rocky training montage parody and a Raging Bull slo-mo joke. There’s just too much here which you’ve seen countless times before done much better.

The Harry Hill Movie sadly resigns Hill to joining the long list of successful TV stars who have unsuccessfully made the move from small screen to big. If it could be argued that Hill’s brand of comedy perhaps just doesn’t suit a cinematic format, then it would be somewhat less painful as a Harry Hill fan to report this. However, there’s just too much here that is well below the usual level of Hill’s tongue-in-cheek silliness, the comedian resorting to padding proceedings out by throwing in any old idea even if it’s clearly not a very good one.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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