It's always a tricky endeavour to reprise a much loved film and, as we're frequently reminded, the remake can fall irritatingly short. The original St Trinian's films were blessed with the innate charm and deft touch that graced Ealing Studios' golden years, boisterous and bawdy yet innocent and warm-hearted. Sadly, the class of 2007, produced by a revived Ealing, exhibits no sign of such charisma, relying instead on a confusing mix of half-hearted cameos and crude pastiche, all pop video stylings and clunky homage. Although all the familiar ingredients are in the mix - eccentric headmistress, risqué schoolgirls, roguish chancers and a well-intentioned heist - the result yields something less than the sum of its parts. Rupert Everett, while entertaining enough, is no Alastair Sim; Russell Brand simply isn't fit to lace George Cole's shoes, let alone cock his hat. Colin Firth, Lena Headey and Jodie Whittaker provide just enough wincing momentum to plough from scene to scene, cheque firmly in mind throughout presumably. Even the appearance of the mighty Girls Aloud at the finale can't save this turkey, surely a sign of a project beyond redemption. Maybe I'm old, dull and just don't get it, but St Trinian's, I'm disappointed to say, makes Spice World look like Taxi Driver.
Published: August 26, 2008 04:00 AM