Well, that title is something of an indication of how this is going to go. I watched the first Nativity several years ago, and while it wasn't fantastic, it was still a pretty alright Christmas movie. I skipped the second one, but I've heard that wasn't bad either, and with David Tennant leading the way I'm tempted to go back and give it a casual viewing. But hey, this one has Martin Clunes, so how bad could it be?
I would say I don't want to spoil the plot, but since there's such little semblance of coherent plot I don't think I can really jeopardise it. They say it's a mostly improvised movie, and it really shows, but not in a good way. We start with a girl named Lauren recounting how her father, Mr. Shepherd (Clunes) managed to woo a betrothed vocal coach (Catherine Tate) away from a big shot "flash mob superstar", and it's all presented in such a way that I was sure that I'd missed out on some major plot points laid out in Nativity 2. After a bit of research, however, I've found that all these characters weren't even in the second movie, so why they feel the need to introduce everyone in such a strange way, I don't know.
Also, I lied before. Nativity 3 doesn't start with this flashback narration, it begins in a shopping centre where a flash mob pops up and everyone has tons of fun. How festive. Anyhow, we then see the focus shift to St. Bernadette's school, where a big childish man named Mr. Poppy is let go by the new headmistress, because he has no qualifications that deem him safe to teach children, and there's an Ofsted inspection coming up. How does Mr. Poppy react? Well, he concludes that to save the school from shutting down, he needs to sneak back in and recruit pupils to take part in a "flash mob competition" (even though the very definition of a flash mob is that they are unexpected).
Mr. Shepherd is shoehorned in at this point, arriving at the school as a "super teacher" meant to bring everyone up to standard, but after being kicked by a donkey he suffers complete memory loss, and it's up to Mr. Poppy and a handful of ragamuffin dancing children to help him out. However, after consulting a doctor, they receive the expert medical opinion that they should just flood him with Christmas based stimuli instead of visiting a neurologist. So begins a sequence of events more baffling than those I just described, where a clearly inept adult and his amnesia-suffering companion kidnap a group of over ten children from school, and drag them all over the place to dance and attempt to piece back Mr. Shepherd's memory.
I could write all day about how much this movie makes no sense. But I've gone on for long enough, and even writing those last few paragraphs was painful. Let's just safely say that Nativity 3 is so nonsensical that even the biggest suspension of disbelief won't save you. It doesn't even seem like anyone wrote a script, they just threw everyone into a random place, gave them one take to blurt out whatever they could make up and called it a day. The performances are awful, the jokes are flat, even the songs, which are meant to be the main focus, are uninspired and poorly dubbed. Nativity 3 is the worst movie I've seen in a long while, and I recommend you stay away lest your Christmas spirit be crushed.
My rating: 0/5