Road to… The bad Education Movie

Last weekend, Entertainment Film Distributors released The bad Education Movie, based on the television series Bad Education.

Bad Education was created by Jack Whitehall, who also stared as teacher Alfred Wickers at Abbey Grove School, East England. It’s premier episode, Parents’ Evening drew 986, 000 viewers in the live ratings, the highest comedy début for BBC Three.

Bad Education‘s success lead to a remake pilot from ABC, An American Education, with Whitehall carrying-over as “Alfie”, who’s been transferred to a Chicago school, with the series focusing on his eccentric British teaching methods, rather than the original premise of BBC Three’s Bad Education, in-which Wickers used his class, Form K, to complete unethical schemes in order to impress teacher Rosie Gulliver. An American Education‘s pilot was adapted by Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck.

After three seasons, nineteen episodes and one special, Bad Education finalised with Prom. Over the course of its run, The Guardian accused it of being a melodramatic vehicle for Whitehall, The Daily Telegraph criticised it for being stereotypical and repetitive, while The Mirror and The Sun scored it two of five.

The success of Bad Education lead to a sequel feature, The bad Education Movie, as announced by Whitehall on Twitter, who reprised his role, as did most members of the cast.

Photography took place in Cornwall, South West England with Cave Bear Productions, where The bad Education Movie takes place, with the students and teachers going on a post-graduation school trip. Production began 23rd February, and continued for five weeks. Whitehall said

“It’s very exciting to be bringing Bad Education to the big screen. It’s great to be reunited one last time with my amazing class of kids before they get ripped apart by puberty. We wanted this film to be about the mother of all school trips but sadly the Cumberland Pencil Museum wouldn’t let us film there so we have gone for Cornwall instead.”

Entertainment Film Distributors were attempting to recreate the success of The Inbetweenters Movie (Damon Beesley and Iain Morris) based on The Inbetweeners, which grossed over £40, 000, 000. It was released 21st August to an opening weekend of £608, 659.39, ranked eighth.

Speaking to Digital Spy, Whitehall said:

“This is our characters going out on a bang, and if this is where it ends, then I think it’s a really good place to leave them. We’ve had a lot more money than we had with the series so we threw everything at it. When you’re at the BBC there are certain rules you have to apply to, whereas with the film, taste and decency issues can go out the window.

Digital Spy also interviewed Layton Williams about his character Stephen Carmichael:

“We were so used to coming together now like once a year, so I think this time it was a little bit like, ‘Oh my god, this actually probably could, well, we never know, be like the last time we’re all gonna be filming and working together!’ So it was a bit sad saying goodbye, but we’ll go onto other things, and we’re definitely friends forever, really. I never even thought we were gonna get a second series, never mind a third and a movie! So to be in Sloane Square now and my face keeps casually popping past on a bus, I can’t believe it! I still can’t get over it, I want a selfie every time but I’m like, ‘Layton, get it over it now, get over it! You look like a weirdo!’ It’s very exciting. It’s a bit nerve-wracking, really! People have to go out of their way to watch this, it’s not like it’s just gonna be on.  Like when you’re at home and BBC Three’s on, it’s just there! There we are, click it on, and it’s a bit more of an easy watch. But now people have to get off the couch, go to the cinema and pay to watch the movie. So that’s what makes me nervous, is thinking, ‘Oh my god, I hope people watch it!’ Don’t want there to be crickets in the cinemas!”

Speaking to News Hopper, Whitehall said:

“It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, really. We finished the series and I genuinely thought that was going to be it. We wrote this ridiculous script, this action film basically – the characters from the sitcom in an action film, set in Cornwall. We wrote the script basically expecting it never to get made. We were expecting to cut a load of stuff but they wanted the stuff we wrote, so we ended up filming this incredibly ambitious project and now it is coming out in cinemas.”

The bad Education Movie currently has a rating of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Express‘ Henry Fitzherbert rated The bad Education Movie 3/5, saying: “The script is patchy and the story too silly for its own good but there are enough laughs to make this a hit with the target audience.”

Screen Daily‘s Fionnuala Halligan said “The class’ cheerful stereotyping is comically palatable (the fat kid, the gay kid, the boy in the wheelchair, etc) carried by The bad Education Movie’s breezy cheerfulness. There’s a nice soundtrack featuring the Rizzle Kicks, amongst others, and a rousing fencing finale set in Pendennis Castle. [The] bad Education [Movie] won’t change the world, and viewers probably have to be both British and in the right frame of mind to best appreciate its highjinks, but this film will make a world of difference to Jack Whitehall’s career, offering opportunties similar to those taken by James Corden and Ricky Gervais.”

Radio Times‘ James Luxford rated The bad Education Movie 3/5, saying: “Silly and certainly not for the faint-hearted, The Bad Education Movie will leave newcomers either offended or bemused, and it’s hard to see where any potential sequel could go from here (maybe that trip to Vegas?). Nevertheless, it achieves its goal to entertain fans of the TV series with much of the same, on a wider canvas, including a typically chaotic finale.”

List Film‘s Matthew Turner rated The bad Education Movie 1/5, saying: “The plot begins promisingly but degenerates into a confusing and offensive mess that paints the people of Cornwall as revolutionaries-slash-terrorists-in-waiting. As for the jokes, they rarely rise above the level of bad taste / gross-out humour; it says something that the best gag involves Alfie being dared by his obnoxious ex-schoolmate (a wasted Jeremy Irvine) to tea-bag a swan. It all adds up to a dismal disappointment, with Whitehall’s likeably goofy comic presence failing to compensate for the poorly structured script and general lack of laughs.”

The Guardian‘s Mike McCahill rated The bad Education Movie 2/5, saying: “Here, at least, the film permits us some fresh air. Elsewhere, laughs are stifled by Hegarty’s TV aesthetic, all static medium and closeup shots, chiefly of Whitehall’s ever-harassed testes. Stretched this high and wide, the star’s posh-boy persona can rarely have seemed so charmless; the film acknowledges as much in nudging on Jeremy Irvine as a braying toff whose sole purpose is to make the goon-like Wickers appear admirable.”

Variety‘s Guy Lodge said: “Whitehall jumps into the proceedings with baying gusto, encapsulating the character’s balance of can-do spirit and cotton-brained idiocy in a climactic speech that welds together quotations from Braveheart [(Randall Wallace)], 300 [(Zack SnyderKurt Johnstad and Michael B. Gordon)] and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. For those who find his puppyish hyperactivity wearying, Scanlan is a wily comic foil — and, considering how much unseen punishment the script piles on her nether regions, a jolly good sport.”

Internet Game Network‘s Chris Tilly rated The bad Education Movie 6.6/10, saying: “Okay. Basically, better than it looks.”