Star Rating:

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?

Actors: Adam Garcia, Marc Wootton, Kayko Andrieux, Susie Blake

Release Date: Saturday 30th November 2013

Genre(s): Family

Running time: 109 minutes

Enough's enough now. 2009's Nativity! and 2012's Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger had something resembling a narrative thread running through them with Martin Freeman and David Tennant (respectively) keeping an eye on the insufferable man-child Mr. Poppy (Wootton) so his madcap antics doesn't derail proceedings. Martin Clunes is in the man in charge this time but Mr. Poppy has hijacked the story and run off with it - it's difficult to know what the film is doing from one sequence to the next.

The pupils of St. Bernadette's get a new headmistress in Celia Emrie and a new teacher in Martin Clunes, father to little Lauren Hobbs. She's hoping that dad will make it to New York this Christmas and marry Catherine Tate as she wants the comedienne to be her new mum. However, just as the school awaits an inspector, Mr. Poppy (Wootton) is fired and Clunes receives a hoof to the head from the titular ass, losing his memory in the process. The only answer is to get to New York and enter a Flash Mob competition before Adam Garcia's smarmy git worms his way into Tate's heart.

What? Is that right? I've watched this movie and that's the best I can do with its synopsis. Story was never the franchise's strongpoint as it was more about Wootton larking about and kids should get a laugh out of his antics again. Him and the flatulent donkey. But it loses the run of itself and gets very annoying very quickly.

What anyone is doing or trying to do in any given scene isn't easy to figure out. And while the idea that Wootton and Hobbs go about rebuilding Clunes' personality to make him a nicer dad/husband/person is likeable (and a bit cultish) his persona of a joyless grump isn't set up to make this a viable arc. And the donkey? It's there at the beginning alright, but is shipped off to an animal rescue early doors and isn't mentioned again. Wait. That's incorrect – the gang do put up missing posters. In New York. When the donkey went missing in England.

Terrible stuff. It'll do well.