Given he’s one of the 21st century’s most indelible comic creations, it was inevitable that Ricky Gervais would bring back Brent, and while this belated film incarnation can’t quite match the perfection of The Office, it’s a perfectly credible return to the well. It’s fascinating, actually, seeing what Gervais – who writes, directs and of course stars – brings to the table without Stephen Merchant and the key cast of the earlier show, resulting in a brace of funny-but-indulgent songs, and a slight tempering of the original’s bleakness. Cynics may carp about the opportunism of resurrecting Brent, and without the buttressing of Martin Freeman et al a little of him does go a long way, but Gervais’s grasp of cringe comedy is still second to none.
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