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4.3 out of 5 stars
Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! [Blu-ray]
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2013
Merry Christmas everyone!

For my review for Christmas, I've decided to tackle on 'Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger' starring David Tennant.

I absolutely enjoyed watching this film which dad bought before Christmas. Because of my being a fan of 'Doctor Who', my dad knew I would like to watch this with David Tennant since he's well known for playing the Tenth Doctor from the new series. And it certainly has been a thrill of a ride. Some of the film's pretty outrageously funny and sometimes a bit rude for my tastes, but I couldn't help enjoy it. I hadn't seen the first film with Martin Freeman, but I don't think you need to watch that first before this as it's a pretty stand-alone Christmas film anyway.

David Tennant is wonderful in this. David plays the part of a young school teacher named Frederick Peterson, who's just moved into a new house with his wife Sarah (played by Joanna Page). Mr Peterson is to be the new teacher of St Bernadette's primary school in Conventry of the class under the influence of class room assistant Mr Poppy (Marc Wooton). Peterson becomes anxious as it's his first day and is rather taken back and shocked with the child-like and deranged attitude of Mr Poppy who makes life worse for him when taking charge of the kids. It gets even worse when Mr Poppy tries to persuade Peterson on a trip to Wales for a national song competition called 'Song for Christmas' which Mr Poppy and the children want to be a part of.

I found it extremely funny when David who plays Peterson gets annoyed with Mr Poppy especially during the auditions for babies playing the baby Jesus in the song competition and him banging his head on the table. He has a rant about it when he gets back home to his wife before his father shows up. I also enjoyed it when he gets hawled onto the bus by the children and becomes their prisoner. Also when he goes 'This is the best Christmas ever' and Poppy goes 'You're right, it is the best Christmas ever', I laughed when David as Peterson gritted through his teeth saying 'I was being sarcastic!'. I also enjoyed it when they were in the boats on the ferecious rapids and David fell out of the boat and got really annoyed with Mr Poppy when he thought he was going to drown when trying desperately to get back onto land. This a film that truly proves David's comedy and dramatic talents as a actor into full swing which I truly enjoyed.

Of course David doesn't just play Frederick Peterson as he also gets to play his twin brother Roderick Peterson, who's also in for the 'Song For Christmas' competition and is a composer for a church choir. This character David plays is the opposite to the first character he plays as the twin brother is pretty serious and lacking in humour. But it's so funny to watch him in his dark clothes and with the gothic music to hear in the background. I'm impressed with David's ability to play the two characters distinctly especially when they're in the same scenes together. Especially behind-the-scenes when David's playing the twins at the same time like a ventriloquist does with a puppet.

I like how behind-the-scenes, David has the ability to improvise lines especially when the 'donkey wouldn't move' in scenes when he had to put his pregnant wife on.

The rest of the cast are brilliant too. I enjoyed Marc Wooton's child-like performance as Mr Poppy and his scenes with David are truly sensational and his relationship with the kids is a wonder to which he must have enjoyed.

Joanna Page was lovely to watch in this, who was so sweet and certainly had a chemsitry with her on-screen husband David. The two of them would work with each other again in 'Doctor Who' in the 50th anniversary special 'The Day of the Doctor' where she played Queen Elizabeth I.

Another actor I know from 'Doctor Who' is Ian McNeice playing David Tennant's dad, and I know Ian as Winston Churchill in Who as well as being in 'David Cooperfield' and 'A Christmas Carol' with Patrick Stewart. Ian plays the part of the dad very well, as he looks down on the son who's a teacher with such disapproval and looks admiringly at the son who's become a success a church choir conductor with an OBE.

There's also Pam Ferris playing Mrs Bevan, the headmistress of St. Bernadette's school, who's lovely and sweet in this (far from her formidable performance as Miss Truchbull the headmistress from 'Matilda'). There's Jessica Hynes as well who plays Angel Matthews, the host of 'Song For Christmas' at the castle venue. And also there's Jason Watkins who plays Mr Shakespeare, the head of the rival school Oakmoor against St Bernadette's in the 'Song For Christmas' competition and has recently been in 'Doctor Who' with Matt Smith in 'Nightmare of Silver'.

This is truly a delightful Christmas treat with plenty of songs, plenty of feel-good humour and terrific acting from all corners as well as all actors. David Tennant's sensational in this and it's lovely to see him in something different other than 'Doctor Who'. I loved it when he told his brother and his father to 'shut up!' a lot in that pretty rounded Scottish accent of his and he truly is a delight to watch. So if you like David Tennant and still miss him from seeing him in 'Doctor Who', then go and buy this. Trust me, you will enjoy it and won't be too disappointed.

Again...Happy Christmas everyone!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2012
Just seen Nativity 2 - Danger in a Manger and it was every bit as good as its predecessor. The laughs come thick and fast with the same touch of pathos and emotion that makes it a real feel good movie. David Tennant is wonderful in role of the long suffering Mr Peterson and all the children are real stars. Go and see it or buy it when it comes out on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2014
Unfortunately, Nativity 2 was nowhere near as good as the first film. In the original, the harassed class teacher has to come up with a Christmas concert. The school pulls together, the Head is behind him, and the slapstick is mostly caused by his rivalry with a snooty private school nearby. There's a plot, there's development, there's a happy (if schmalzy) ending.

So, Nativity 2: 'Danger in the Manger', starring David Tennant, would be perfect Christmas viewing - right?

Alas, no.

In this film Tennant plays Mr Peterson the new class teacher. The plot is much more unlikely - and, at times, decidedly worrying. Mr Poppy (Mark Wootton), the irritatingly juvenile classroom assistant, is still around, and this time has been urging the children to audition for a national singing competition in Wales. The school Head has vetoed it, but this does not stop him from egging the children on, and writing a song for them…

The story then gets sillier (and more worrying still) when the class, unauthorised by the Head, and unknown to their parents, set off for the competition in an extremely odd bus driven by Mr Poppy, with Mr Peterson kidnapped as he tries to stop them… and panicking about his wife, who might give birth at any moment.

We were getting annoyed and irritated by the first hour or so of this film, which was not humorous and had far too much of Mr Poppy. Then we become rather confused when the scene kept switching from the competition - already getting started, in the evening - to the class, staggering across rough ground, up steep hills, down ropes, accompanied by a baby and a donkey… in broad daylight. Without any food or drink, as far as we could see, wearing their costumes, but not getting dirty.

But we kept watching. I'm not entirely sure why. And finally were rewarded: the last half hour was a great deal better. We very much enjoyed David Tennant playing a dual role superbly; we also quite liked the other choirs singing and dancing. It made no sense that the school, despite their traumatic journey, and apparently no real rehearsals, absolutely stole the show but that was always going to happen - and they did it very well, on the whole.

We also liked the unexpectedly warm (if clichéd) ending.

Two stars for the first hour, four for the last half hour - thus a generous three overall.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2014
This film entertains the kids and we adults love it too! Very funny in parts! Would highly recommend it to anybody!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2014
Why did I watch this? Because my daughter wanted to. This shoddy piece of Xmasploitation manages to make good actors like David Tennant, Joanna Page, Pam Ferris and Ian McNeice look like bad ones, but it's also cursed with some really lame child actors and a performance from Marc Wootton which is so teeth-grindingly irritating that you may find yourself wishing you could take a nailgun to the actor. I'm sure Marc Wootton is a very nice man, and it's not his fault that his character is written as a shrill, charm-free, psychopathic manchild, but still, his performance doesn't help matters. An actor of the level of Jack Black can take a part like this and do something with it, but Wootton is no Jack Black. There's quite enough turkey at Christmas without this thing adding to the total.
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Having never seen the first movie, I had no idea what to expect. I had no I tension of seeing this, because the the trailer looked awful, but my daughter is in charge so I had no choice.

And while it's not the best film going, and it's about fifteen minutes too long, it was diverting and mildly amusing at times.

Tennent plays the new teacher, who carries around a half heart picture of his twin, and whose wife is heavily pregnant. When he arrives at the school, his class are already preparing for the song for Christmas competition, which Mr Poppy is eager to do....

So the film is basically a mix of road trip, and the X factor, with a lot of cute kids singing pretty awful songs, but hey,it's a Christmas movie, so it's heart is in the right place.

If you can get past the fact that a lot of the characters would get into trouble by the police for kidnapping, baby snatching, leaving kids behind and not giving it a second thought and several other crimes, it's quite endearing stuff.

Tennent is good in his role, but he's playing second fiddle to the guy who plays Mr Poppy. And believe me, he's the marmite of acting, you either love him or hate him, and thankfully, I tolerated the idiot, because he had a heart of gold really.

So all in all, it's predictable stuff, almost verging on pantomime in some instants, the ending is what you would expect, child birth in a stable in full view of children did surprise me though.

But the fact that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would surprised me the most.

A pleasant, totally inoffensive family movie, and those are rare....
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2012
Well now,MY Wish List for this Christmas is endless ,BUT ,NAVITY 2,"Danger in the Manger" top's my list,I saw the first verson of this Navtivity story and was delighted with it,so were my Grt Grand Children. Now as we await this second story that has even a 'Retired Dr Who' ! ( David Tennant) in the cast I am certain this Will be a real Christmas Cracker !!Thankyou AMAZON.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2014
A pleasing Christmas gift for my grand daughter ( 11) but only 4 stars since she is not continually viewing it as she does others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2014
Not quite on par with the first Nativity, but still very enjoyable to watch and alot better than any second films made. The first ones are usually the best but this one isnt far off! Certainly worth buyng, the storyline is quite funny and bizzare lol, and still had me crying in this one too, but for different reasons! Well worth it and can watch over again.
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on 2 January 2014
After the very enjoyable "Nativity", I wasn't expecting this sequel to come anywhere close - in fact several other reviewers panned it. But I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by this story about a class of children (and a baby) effectively kidnapped by a well meaning and highly enthusiastic, (but slightly deranged) classroom assistant, (Marc Wootton), to attend a carol concert in Wales. David Tennant, their "Supply" teacher, is coerced to join the trip, to try and make sure the children stay safe on the journey. Their transport, (a DUKW!) runs out of fuel while approaching the shores of a lake (an aquatic shortcut), leaving them stranded and lost in the remote and beautiful Welsh countryside. Their adventures made me laugh out loud! Every child actor was a little gem, David Tennant was predictably excellent, but for me, Marc Wootton was the real star of the show! Watch this film - you will laugh out loud, and enjoy every minute!
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