It might seem somewhat Scrooge-y to criticise a festive kids film, but after enduring Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger, it’s difficult to find positive things to say. As a follow-up to the reasonably likeable 2009 original, it’s well meaning and some of the kids are cute. So there’s that. But while youngsters will laugh along as the teachers and their class trek through the countryside to reach a singing competition (no nativity play this time, you see), there’s very little here for adults.
With Martin Freeman busy roaming all over Middle Earth, former Doctor Who David Tennant takes the lead and tries to establish some credibility throughout. But while he’s supported by some impressive British faces (Jessica Hynes, Pam Ferris, Ian McNeice), the whole thing is frequently too silly and far-fetched, with little in the way of Christmas magic. Marc Wooten’s returning Mr Poppy is pretty annoying too, while Joanna Page has about five lines, a few of which include shouting “I love you!” at David Tennant, another of which is her screaming while giving birth in a barn. So all-in-all, more of a Christmas pudding than a Christmas cracker. Sorry.