sat 20/07/2024

St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold | reviews, news & interviews

St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold

St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold

David Tennant is terrific as the baddie in a piece of rollicking good fun

This film was never going to be nominated for any awards, but then it probably doesn’t need critical acclaim - the first reworking of the glorious 1950s Ealing Studios comedies (which were based on Ronald Searle’s cartoons), released in 2007, was the third-highest grossing independent UK film ever. St Trinian’s 2 is more of the same: loud, silly and rollicking good fun.

No joke is considered too old or too obvious in the immensely daft yarn scripted by Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft, directed by Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson. The plot (using the term loosely) concerns a 420-year-old pirate treasure, a sinister secret society at the heart of the British establishment, the real identity of William Shakespeare and, as the super Rupert Everett plays St Trinian’s headmistress Miss Fritton, a fair amount of cross-dressing.

The girls - led by new head girl Talulah Riley - try to find the legendary treasure, but first have to thwart the dastardly Sir Piers Pomfrey (David Tennant), who is the leader of an all-male society that wants to subjugate women, and clearly no self-respecting St T’s girl will stand for that. Along the way there’s the now obligatory mob fight involving hockey sticks and flour bombs, a high-speed car chase and some girl-on-girl action. Sorry, that's girly interaction as the school divides along tribal lines of indie chicks, geeks, emos and posh totty.

Colin Firth returns as Miss Fritton’s old flame Geoffrey, while Celia Imrie is rather wasted in both senses of the word as the permanently drunk Matron. Others giving great support, though, are Clara Paget and Gabriella Wilde as poshos Bella and Saffy, and Ella Smith as geeky genius Lucy, while Zawe Ashton wrings every ounce of comedy from her role as rude girl Bianca.

There’s a cracking all-female artist soundtrack, and Tennant, for once not mugging furiously at camera as the outgoing Doctor Who, is terrific as the "all-round bad guy" Pomfrey. He passes his audition to be the next Bond villain with flying colours.

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