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REVIEW: Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break

Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break

Have you ever watched the Britain’s Got Talent auditions, seen somebody who simply cannot sing or dance and wondered to yourself exactly how did that person seriously come to the conclusion they had what it takes to make it big? And did you ever wonder what would happen if the actions of a number of individuals caused that person to be late for their audition, meaning they laid the blame fully on those people when they didn’t get their big break? Would that person draw up a Kill Bill style revenge list, before spending their lunch break hunting down those people whilst wielding a samurai sword? Well, wonder no more friends, Paul Dood’s Deadly Lunch Break is here to answer all of your questions!

When we first meet middle-aged Paul Dood (Tom Meeten), he’s in his bedroom, applying dark eye-liner to his eyes and star makeup to his cheeks. A sequin shirt and flared trousers complete the look and Paul is now ready to broadcast live on Trend Ladder, a social network where users and followers can watch, react and comment on your video streams, helping you climb the ladder and potentially achieve the highest trending video.

It’s easy sometimes with the auditions on Britains Got Talent to misjudge a book by its cover, believing as somebody walks out that they look nothing like a star, only to be blown away when they open their mouth and belt out a pitch-perfect song. However, in the case of Paul Dood, that book cover portrays a lack of talent that’s definitely evident when he does begin to sing and dance. But at least Paul’s elderly mum, who he currently lives with, believes in her son, giving advice on his outfit and look, along with some top tips on how to pull off his twirl.

Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break Review

At his place of work, a shopping centre charity shop, Paul is regularly the butt of the joke at the hands of colleague Bruce, who isn’t at all impressed by Paul’s latest Trend Ladder post. But then Bruce notices that auditions are happening today for the Trend Ladder Talent Show, a show which Paul was planning to audition for but didn’t realise was happening today. After clearing it with shop manager Jaynee (Pippa Haywood), Paul dashes home to get changed and pick up his number one fan, his mum, before rushing off to try and catch the auditions. His second biggest fan, Clemmie (Katherine Parkinson) works as a cleaner in the shopping centre and has a bit of a crush on Paul, wishing him the best of luck as he passes her and promising to watch his audition on Trend Ladder.

The journey to the auditions doesn’t exactly go smoothly though. A jobsworth at the train station causes Paul and his mum to miss two trains in a row following a dispute surrounding the wheelchair ramp needed to get his mum on the train. And when they give up and decide to walk to the audition instead, the owner of a Japanese tea room (Johnny Vegas) makes things difficult for Paul when he asks for a much-needed glass of water for his mum. Shortly after, a priest (Kris Marshall) and his assistant (Alice Lowe) take great pleasure in stealing the cab that Paul and his mum were about to take. And to top it all off, after arriving late for the auditions and being granted a chance to show off his talents, obnoxious judge Jack Tapp (Kevin Bishop) is far from complimentary. It’s the final straw for Paul.

Back at the charity shop and some amateur psychotherapy from Janey isn’t helping to console a distraught and broken Paul Dood, who is now busy making a revenge list. The station worker, the tea shop owner, the priest and his assistant. And top of the list, Jack Tapp, the smug judge who is all smiles and personality to his fans on Trend Ladder, but is in fact a complete arsehole in real life. We’re treated to a glimpse of the delightfully gruesome manner in which Paul imagines killing them all off before he heads off on his lunch break to execute his deadly plan, making sure to stream the events live on Trend Ladder with his chest-mounted phone holder.

Events don’t quite go as simply as envisioned by Paul when drawing up his list, and it’s fun to see exactly how the encounter with each victim plays out, all while being streamed live to the world, increasing Paul’s popularity as he climbs the Trend Ladder. It’s a ridiculous concept, which is what makes it work so well, and the sheer wealth of British comedy talent involved is certainly impressive. I laughed out loud on a handful of occasions, which to be fair is more than I laugh at the majority of so-called American comedy movies these days. 

Paul Dood's Deadly Lunch Break (2021) Action, Comedy, Thriller | 95min | 16 March 2021 (USA)
Director: Nick GillespieWriter: Brook Driver, Nick GillespieStars: Katherine Parkinson, Kris Marshall, Craig ParkinsonSummary: A weedy charity-shop worker is set on winning the big national talent show. But when the actions of 5 selfish people cause him to miss his audition, he sets out to seek deathly revenge. It's 1 lunch break, 5 spectacular murders.

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Lee Boardman
Web developer by day, with a movie and TV watchlist that continues to grow as much as my spare time reduces! My favourite movie is Inception and, despite what everyone says, I do not have a man-crush on Tom Cruise.