S Club: Seeing Double (PG)
As an ageing rocker it was a tough job reviewing this nonsensical little flick starring teen favourites S Club. The first major hurdle was that I had no idea who the various group members – there are six of them – were or what their various characters are.
In the event it didn’t matter. S Club: Seeing Double follows in the wake of Spiceworld and Josie and the Pussycats in that it doesn’t make a great deal of sense, the cast can’t act much and it’s all buoyed up by some energetic song and dance numbers.
Boiled down, the plot centres on S Club – Jo, Hannah, Jon, Rachel, Tina and Bradley – being abandoned by their manager in Barcelona after they rebel against the tough schedule and demand a day off. Pretty soon it transpires that their manager has continued their tour without them, and hired a group of lookalikes.
Except, of course, that the bogus band currently playing to sell-out audiences in America are doppelgangers – clones created by a nefarious scientist with an eye on world domination.
Utter tosh, isn’t it? Yet kids will lap up this mindless, plotless drivel. It helps that the S Club folk don’t take any of it at all seriously, send themselves up and shine a spotlight on the pop industry to prove that, whatever the hype might tell us, modern music is all about keeping your head in a world ruled by madness.
I counted two moments of genuine humour in the film, and two only, but they’re above average in a flick that aims deliberately at ankle level of the lowest common denominator. Instead there are chases, Monkees-style comedy, mistaken identities and much, much silliness to keep fans happy.
Surprisingly both Rachel Stevens and Jon Lee acquit themselves well in the thespian stakes, though all the band have had sufficient practice at the acting game courtesy of a string of US TV series since 1999. Throw in a fleeting cameo from Pop Idol’s Gareth Gates and one can be certain that this will be as dated as The Beatles’ Help! Within months.
Star rating: **