HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans They Came, They Saw, They Conquered
Year: 2019
Director: Dominic Brigstocke
Stars: Sebastian Croft, Emilia Jones, Nick Frost, Craig Roberts, Kate Nash, Rupert Graves, Alex Macqueen, Lee Mack, Warwick Davis, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Alexander Armstrong, Chris Addison, Derek Jacobi, Kim Cattrall, Joanna Bacon, Richard David-Caine, Dominique Moore
Genre: Musical, Comedy, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A couple of millennia ago, in Ancient Rome, the Emperor Claudius (Derek Jacobi) was ailing, but only because his wife Agrippina (Kim Cattrall) had him poisoned to make way for her son Nero (Craig Roberts), and then only because she wanted to rule since her boy was not of age yet. On an encounter with young citizen Atti (Sebastian Croft) that does not go well for the citizen, he punishes him by sending him to Britain as a soldier, but ironically that may have been the best thing to happen to him. In the same region of Britain, a Celtic tribe leader Arghus (Nick Frost) is having trouble controlling his daughter Orla (Emilia Jones), for she wants to be a warrior queen...

Horrible Histories was one of the undisputed hits of children's television in the twenty-first century, as everyone who saw it was impressed, and the kids who tuned in found a new interest in the past engendered by its way with wacky jokes that delivered genuine facts. They had dabbled with film before, as there was the William Shakespeare spoof Bill a few years before this which was Horrible Histories in all but name, but this effort was the first "official" entry to reach the big screen. However, many found Bill more authentic to the spirit and layout of the original series, which in turn had been drawn from the equally popular books by Terry Deary. Was this a disappointment, then?

That's putting it too harshly, as there was much included that adhered to the educational/humorous template as set out by the television series, though maybe the real sticking point was the original cast was absent, having been concentrating on their television show for adults, Ghosts. In truth, that was funnier than most of what was in this movie, and indeed maybe kids would have got more out of it as far as the jokes went, but it was not a dead loss, since the essentially goodnatured approach to the times it depicted (unless you were a bully) rendered it a perfectly acceptable way to pass ninety minutes, no matter what age you were, the proliferation of scatological gags aside.

It seemed the kids of the new millennium were absolutely captivated by bowel movements and urination, for most of the entertainment aimed at them was obsessed with that, Horrible Histories: The Movie being no exception. Though at least the educational remit illustrated how Romans wiped their arses and where the Celts did their business, so if those were burning questions for you, consider them solved. The grown-ups, meanwhile, would appreciate the presence of comedians and thespians they would recognise getting down wiv tha kidz by messing about in silly comedy, from Lee Mack as a homesick Centurion to Sanjeev Bhaskar as a Roman in a running joke about making divorce-worthy decisions for his wife to be unimpressed by. Maybe not quite as successful were the Romeo and Juliet-style leads.

They were not terrible by any means, but they did not have funny bones, and the scenes where Orla has captured Atti and has to spend time with him because she cannot kill him were something of a dead weight around the lighter moments, an issue when they carried so much of the dramatic import. Did we really need dramatic import in a Horrible Histories film? Still, it was not an act of self-sabotage, and with veteran comedy director Dominic Brigstocke at the helm and seasoned writers of humour on script duties, some with closer ties to the brand than others, you at least felt everyone knew what they were doing. The tone of the quips was self-deprecating in the main, a very British mode for all that, undercutting any pomposity or cruelty with a barb aimed back at them, and the action skipped nimbly between Rome and Britain, where Boudicca (Kate Nash) is gathering her forces in the way a pop sensation gathers their fans. All this gee'd along the learning quotient nicely, and it was pleasing to feel you had gleaned something from such irreverence. It was a musical, too, incidentally.

[There's a featurette from behind the scenes and a deleted song on Altitude's DVD.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2372 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: