Sergeant John Rook (Mark Addy) is an overweight out of shape police office, when his commanding officer receives a complaint from a Bishop about an incident between Rook and a member of the... See full synopsis »
Inoffensive, ho-hum affair that can't decide what it wants to be
It is one complaint too many for Sergeant John Rook and he finds himself out of shape but charged with heading up the local bike squad. They are the mobile police force in pedestrian areas or, as Chief Inspector Custer reminds them often, too rubbish for anything else. However with a spree of motorbike robberies hitting the area, Rook and his motley crew believe they can silence the naysayers by bringing the gang to justice. Meanwhile though, each of the group have their own issues to work through not least of which Rook himself.
Are you a pilot? Are you a film? Are you a drama? Are you a comedy? What are you Bike Squad? I'll tell you what you are you're a Sunday night ITV drama that has a lot of pressure on you to appeal to the demographic of comfortable people who are watching in this time slot and you gotta keep them in their seats or we lose the advertising revenue of this slot. And this is just what Bike Squad feels like like it is scared to go too far in any one direction or to rule out anything that it ends up spinning in circles. Personally I thought it was just fine as a sort of odd-bunch comedy with a simple crime plot providing an obvious backbone around which to string lots of gags and funny asides. Certainly this is what appears to be the heart of the film and this is quite amusing. However what we have strung around it are worthless dramatic subplots that feel like they were scripted with a crayon.
These do more than just fail they drag the film down with it and if the film was attempting to blend them together into a seamless film then I would suggest that someone check that the makers know what "blend" means, because it isn't just a matter of running the scene together in the editing suite. The humour is sucked out as a result and it would have been much better really toning down the scale of the character's stories and keeping it light because here is where the film is at its best. Hold that thought though, because maybe the reason for this dumping ground of stories is because this is a pilot and they are trying to judge what works? Well I don't think it was a pilot but if it was at least they learnt what not to do.
That said I will still defend the nucleus of the film that is this light cop comedy that affectionately teases the characters while never out and out mocking the bike squad. I quite liked the idea and the cast seem able to do the comedy without going all-out for laughs. Shame then that the delivery is so very ho-hum and inconsistent. Addy is not really asked a lot of but he does his best with the comedy and the drama. His support is solid enough even if the script doesn't offer much to Stone, Peake or Swann. Boyd is fun though and Davis is an easy presence. The soundtrack is fun to listen to but the way it is used is terrible; no originality or thought to the tracks just a load of hits that will appeal to the 25-40 age range; catchy but still cr*p.
Overall then this is an amusing and totally inoffensive film. It has a core of potential in there but sadly it cannot decide what it want to do other than to appeal to as wide an audience as possible at all costs. This knackers much of the film whether it be the unimaginative use of music or the inclusion (but poor delivery of) the personal drama subplots. Ho-hum stuff that probably filled the Sunday night before going back to work but is unlikely to stand up to scrutiny anywhere else.