Critics – you love them, you hate them, and most importantly you love to hate them. Very occasionally you’ll find the odd critic who speaks your language and makes you laugh, even when you don’t necessarily agree with what they’re saying.
Mark Kermode is one such BBC film critic, broadcaster and radio personality whose legendary impersonation of hard-man British actor Danny Dyer probably gets more YouTube views than Danny Dyer himself.
The Danny Dyer Reviews
Danny Dyer is a British actor and TV personality most recently known for disheartening British non-medy Run For Your Wife and the Christmas 2013 special of hackneyed soap opera EastEnders. Perhaps Dyer’s worst moment came in 2010 when a column published in British rag Zoo advised a reader to “cut your ex’s face, and then no one will want her”.
It’s perhaps not surprising then that Dyer’s actions have prompted parodies like this from a cable company, and Mark Kermode’s legendary Danny Dyer rants, which take the form of movie reviews interspersed with high pitched hilarity. For those of you wondering, this Kermode review of Straightheads is probably the earliest Dyer-Kermode rant on the net, though it’s all audio.
While expertly dissecting a misogynistic, self-satisfied excuse for a movie, Mark Kermode still manages to hit the high notes with his hilarious impression. Pimp is a film all about a seedy gangster underworld, broadly aimed at the male demographic with a paper-thin plot and some fairly unpleasant undertones.
After three years of threatening to break Mark Kermode’s nose, Danny Dyer starred in Vendetta, released in November 2013. The suitably muted review above sums it all up; the high pitched cockney squeaking doesn’t even need to come from Kermode.
The aforementioned Run for Your Wife looks so unfunny it hurts, as you can see from the clip included in the video above. Kermode points out something many fans of the comedy genre are well aware of: comedy isn’t something you can just “relax into” for a film every now and again.
So what happens when you, a mere member of the public, see Danny Dyer in public and replicate this impression? Danny doesn’t like it.
Kermode’s Other Rants
Like many good critics, Kermode’s justifications for disliking a film are tough to ignore. That ends up in some pretty spectacular rants, some hilarious and others purely epic – particularly when it’s a big blockbuster film in the firing line. A film like Sex and the City 2, for example.
A film so bad it is described as “putrid and vomit inducing” – mostly for the portrayal of women in general, let alone on holiday in Abu Dhabi. Sequels often suck, and for good reason – they’re often cash grabs. Another sequel Kermode really felt strongly about was Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
Very few aspects of the production escape Mark’s fire: from Jonny Depp’s terrible character to Keira Knightley’s overly polite style of piracy, the many confusing plots and wooden acting. Of course, every now and then Mark has to put his foot down and at the start of 2009 he said “If there are ten films worse than Bride Wars, I quit,” which I don’t doubt for a second watching the video below.
While Mark isn’t exactly the target audience for such a film, it doesn’t make his scathing review any less appropriate. He’s also not the target audience for Marley and Me, but that doesn’t make his review of that film any less hilarious either.
You can subscribe to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo on the kermodeandmayo YouTube channel, where all new BBC Radio 5Live film reviews are posted as and when they’re recorded. By this point you either love him or hate him, so let us know what you think of Mark’s animated reviews in the comments, below.