20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A laboured hour or so from a comic who seems content to live on his name,
This review is from: Ricky Gervais Live IV - Science [DVD] (DVD)
It's hard to deny that Ricky Gervais has provided some of the truly classic comedy moments of the past decade or so. Sadly, this DVD isn't one of them.
Gone are the days when any comic, regardless of reputation, can scrape through an hour-long show with such weak material. "Ooooh, he said 'mong' - what a rebel" seems to be about the height of Gervais' ambition with Science - which is quite frankly shocking, considering the talent this man clearly possesses.
Gervais' fake arrogance and "I'm better than you" mentality may have raised a smile in the past, but here it no longer even seems to be played for comedic effect. At times, you begin to wonder whether the man really does believe he's some sort of demigod. This is particular evident in one rather bizarre diatribe against fat people - which, considering the now-trim Gervais' own weight issues in the past, comes across not as humour but as the machinations of a bullied kid joining the popular clique at school only to take the piss out of his former mates. Like much of the show, it barely raises a chuckle.
Gervais has proven in the past that he has the talent to make the masses laugh and I have no doubt he remains capable of putting together a side-splitting hour of stand-up at some point in the future. He really needs to go back to the drawing board, though: telling people they're in the presence of a true legend (as he does throughout this show) can only work when you've got the material to back it up. As it stands, its the comedic equivalent of Dan Brown prefacing his next book with a self-comparison to Shakespeare.
In Gervais' defence, there is the occasional flash of brilliance - one skit involving Noah's Ark deserves a mention - but sadly, these are too few and far between. Perhaps Gervais has simply stretched himself too thin with this tour, coming as it does during his attempted breakthrough into the US film industry. If so, I hope the lacklustre critical reception to this will prove a wake-up call to focus his future talents on one project at a time. The man is undoubtedly funny; this DVD is not. 2 out of 5.
As a final note: if I was cynical, I'd question why nearly all of the five-star reviews of this DVD come from people who've only ever reviewed this one item - a worried marketing department, perhaps?