Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! (2012)

The script needed regenerating

Donald Peterson (David Tennant) is an anxious new teacher who struggles to deal with his rambunctious pupils and his loose cannon classroom assistant Mr Poppy, while caring for his heavily pregnant wife. When Mr Poppy decides St Berndadette's should enter the National 'Sing a Song for Christmas' competition, he convinces Donald to sign the entry forms, later kidnapping him for an epic impromptu road trip to Christmas Castle in Wales, where the competition is being held.

Nativity! was a 2009 Christmas hit that kids loved and people outside the UK barely know about. Now with Martin Freeman gone to divide his time between Middle Earth and solving crimes with Benedict Cumberbatch, they had to replace him.

The first films charm was delivered by a wonderful Nativity performance that lived up to its promise and a wonderful performance from John Watson Martin Freeman. Sadly, former Time Lord David Tennant fails to continue on the charm despite giving good performances in his dual roles. Marc Wootton's performance teeters between merely being 'alright' and 'too over the top for his own good', while Jason Watkins steals the show with a performance full of glee.

One thing that was evident by the end of the film is that the script writer must have no concept about a little thing called the law, as they have the 'hilarious' Mr Poppy kidnap a teacher, take half a class of children without their parents permission, steals both a Kayak and a Donkey, and commits child endangerment by sending the kids down the side of a mountain and by having them watch a birthing process. Kind of detracts from the forced ending when one of the main characters is forced to serve a jail sentence.

The new cast of Game of Thrones

The script problems don't just lie with the blatant disregard for the law, though, as nothing is done to make this anything other than predictable and by the numbers, while the jokes fall flatter than a pancake. One particular part that really infuriated me, however, was when a mother discovered her baby was missing, and rather than scream bloody murder and frantically ask for help in finding her child, she reacts to it as if she merely lost the batteries to the remote of the stereo that barely gets used. Another wonderful show of parenting.

Nativity 2 may not try to be much other than a film for kids, but the (mostly) good performances just can't save this charmless, by the numbers, unfunny kiddie fare.