UK Release Date: 23rd May 2014
Runtime: 87 minutes
Director: Mike Disa
Writer: Annika Bluhm, Nicole Dubuc, Kim Fuller
Starring: Stephen Mangan, Ronan Keating, Jim Broadbent, David Tennant, Rupert Grint, Peter Woodward
Synopsis: When the beloved postman becomes a television hero, he is replaced on his home and on his mail route by a robotic substitute.
In the wake of The Inbetweeners Movie’s remarkable success, British TV properties are rushing to the big screen with varying degrees of quality. But for every Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, there’s a Keith Lemon: The Film to blot the copybook of television adaptations. Postman Pat: The Movie isn’t as bad as Leigh Francis’ big screen bow, but it’s not the roaring success it could’ve been.
The eponymous postman (Stephen Mangan) is riding high and planning to take his wife (Susan Duerden) on her dream trip to Italy. But after new boss Carbunkle (Peter Woodward) cuts Pat’s bonus package in a cost-cutting measure, his holiday is off the table. However, a TV singing competition quickly catapults Pat (Ronan Keating’s singing voice) to instant fame and onto a crash course with an ambitious talent agent (David Tennant).
Postman Pat: The Movie is a curious movie. It has the whiff of a good idea about it, executed with quite unbelievable laziness. The voice performances are weak, the rags-to-riches plot is as cookie cutter as they come and the CGI animation looks cheap and unfinished.
| "I’m Simon Cowbell… and you know how to deliver."
The film isn’t helped by a number of very odd decisions. Chief among these is the casting of Ronan Keating to provide Pat’s singing voice as the obvious difference between the two is jarring and nonsensical. There’s also a disappointing reliance on a worn-out parody of the TV talent show format, complete with the obvious and obligatory Simon Cowell impression.
It also simply isn’t funny or interesting enough to keep its audience engaged. For a film aimed at young children, Postman Pat: The Movie shows a shocking lack of entertainment value. The trademark slapstick of children’s animation is sporadically present and there are occasional flurries of humour, but the film spends much of its thankfully short runtime simply ambling along.
The film does, however, deserve credit for being rich with pop culture nods. There are nods to The Shining and 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Doctor Who and an appropriately named James M Cain novel. The kids might wake up for the musical numbers and the adults can have a relatively fun game of “spot the reference”.
| "I am going to stamp out that postman.”
Above all else, Postman Pat: The Movie doesn’t even feel like it fits into the same world as the TV show. The tone of the film sits awkwardly close to bad fanfiction, featuring a character who bares little resemblance to the postman we all know and love.
After watching this, the kids may never go back to Greendale.
Pop or Poop?
Not much fun for either the young or old audiences, Postman Pat: The Movie is a pale imitation of the classic TV series upon which it is based.
Free of charm, wit or humour, the film is an hour and a half of very little at all. Great comic talents struggle to make any impact with their voice performances and the script limps along to its generic conclusion.
It doesn’t deserve anyone’s stamp of approval.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.