TV-to-film comedies don’t have the most inspiring of track records. Where writers can pack a 30-minute episode with laughs, they often find themselves stretched very thin across 90 minutes. One of the biggest cliches of this particular brand of film comedy is sending the central characters off on holiday abroad, as seen in the sadly disappointing Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and The Inbetweeners 2

While the People Just Do Nothing Kurupt FM crew do precisely that, they manage to hold tight to their roots and successfully adapt their very dry humour and mockumentary style for the big screen. Big in Japan comes seven years after their BBC Three debut and a lot of what audiences loved back then can be found here. Characters are just as ridiculous and self-deluded as ever, with the writers carefully sidestepping many cliched fish-out-of-water scenarios in favour of their egotistical ramblings to bemused locals.

Things do start to fall a little flat once the group are separated in the latter half, with the much bigger laughs landing when they are all together. Stand-out star from the TV series Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) seems slightly wasted at times, with his storyline more than predictable and a little lacklustre. While the plot as a whole is nothing groundbreaking, that isn’t to say this is a lazy attempt at a transition into film. The script is very true to the series and the ridiculousness of each of the characters is sustained right throughout, culminating in a fantastic karaoke scene. 

Big in Japan is a wonderful surprise, with everything seemingly working against it being a success, but somehow ending up as a more than decent comedy. Long-standing fans will find big laughs and joy in watching these bizarre, much loved characters have their first big screen outing.



CAST: Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry, Steve Stamp, Hugo Chegwin, Lily Brazier, Ken Yamamura, Hitomi Sono

DIRECTOR: Jack Clough

WRITERS: Steve Stamp, Allan Mustafa, Asim Chaudhry, Lily Brazier

SYNOPSIS: Since the end of their pirate radio station, life has been quiet for the Kurupt FM boys, but everything is about to change. News reaches them that one of their songs has been used on a popular game show in Japan. They’ve made it.