People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan
A film version of People Just Do Nothing was in the pipeline a while before filming began in 2019. Sensibly and strategically, the show’s creators chose to embark on the big screen follow-up when, at the end of the fifth series of the mockumentary sitcom, the Kurupt FM characters went their separate ways.
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan reunites the crew as they believe their 2016 track Heart Monitor Riddem has generated breakthrough success in Japan. When the reunited crew of MC Grindah, (Allan Mustafa), DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin), Steves (Steve Stamp) and Decoy (Daniel Sylvester Woolford) arrive, though, their assumption proves to be a classic blend of chutzpah and comic misunderstanding – two ingredients that form the basis of much of the comedy as the film develops. Kurupt FM are barely known in Japan. In fact, their track is the theme tune to a famous Banzai-style gameshow, which Japanese music industry manager Taka (Ken Yamamura) is keen to financially exploit, even to the extent of rebranding the garage quartet as the Bang Boys.
While the main dilemma revolves around the developing friction between MC Grindah and the crew, as his ego is easiest for Taka to manipulate, there are some minor sub-plots interwoven involving manager Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhury) and Grindah’s girlfriend Miche (Lily Brazier), too. These storylines feel underused, however, and fail to provide as many laughs as other aspects of the film.
One of these aspects is Steve Stamp. Not only have he and Mustafa created a strong script, but Stamp is utterly hilarious in his performance as Steves. Whether he is delivering witty one-liners, awkwardly struggling to pick up on cues in near-enough every social situation or physically struggling to internally smuggle drugs into Japan, Stamp’s comic ability ensures each scene is as humorous as the last.
In fact, focusing on the characters’ traits, be it Steves’s gauche demeanour, or Grindah and Chabuddy G’s inflated egos, gives the film great comic strength, as does including the talking-heads features from the series, which rightly awarded them a BAFTA. Such features are intrinsic in giving the film its distinctive humour. Yet, while People Just Do Nothing; Big in Japan is undeniably entertaining, audiences may leave with the feeling that it is not as strong as the series.
People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan is released in select cinemas on 18th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan here: