Destination: Dewsbury Review

Destination Dewsbury Review

Destination Dewsbury is a slapstick, road-trip comedy Directed and co-written by Guy Richie’s protégé Jack Spring. That’s a big shadow to come out of so the pressure was on for this to be good.


It’s the story of a group of thirty something high school friends who have succumbed to the pressures of adulthood and lost touch. When the leader of their high school posse discovers one of them is terminally ill with cancer, he reforms the group and go on a road trip to see their friend before he dies.


This type of comedy is aiming for a very specific audience. The humour is crass and the jokes come faster than a pubescent teens first hand job. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is all it is. It manages a rare blend of funny and tragic. You’d think that this tragedy would shit on you having fun, it doesn’t. Writing is comedically barbaric. Its brilliantly funny in a way to makes you feel like you’re probably not a very good person at heart.


There are some seriously bold comedic choices and I admire its bravery, because it’s funny. Despite that, I’m pretty sure that in these modern times of being offended by everything, some people will moan about certain gags but I admit that is my jaded opinion from spending too much time online. They go for some bold, non-traditional topics for comedy that will undoubtedly upset some viewers.



Elements of Destination Dewsbury makes me think of films like brassed off, not because of the content but because there were a lot of actors were early in their careers and every single performance, from the lead actor to the single line extras, were made to make count and they all acted their boots off.


It’s a real skill to hit cliched comedy topics and still be completely unpredictable. That is where this film really triumphs.


Cancer isn’t usually a traditional topic for comedy. Yes, it’s been done with 50/50 and a few others but not to this level of success. Spoiler alert, other Topics for humour are: - Poo, homosexuality, cancer, death, bondage, divorce, alcoholism, paedophilia, drug overdosing and Joseph Fritzel. It almost feels a disservice to the film to list that here for fear of inaccurate assumptions made from such as list. The story is never predictable and it feels like the writer enjoys misdirecting you as much as I enjoyed being misled.


It’s a real skill to hit cliched comedy topics and still be completely unpredictable. That is where this film really triumphs. The sheer unpredictability of the humour puts you on a joyful edge all the way through. Considering those topics for humour, I was surprised to find that it’s got so much heart and soul. The reason this beautifully acted story really works is that behind the jokes about poo and wanking, it really does have something to say. That can be rare in the comedy movie genre.


It’s Crass, funny, beautiful and heartbreakingly brutal all at the same time


The capricious nature of the story might be off putting to some but it gave it an extra level of appreciation. It brings forward emotions in the viewer and asks real, human questions that anyone who knew someone close who was terminally ill will have asked themselves and it does it with honesty and creative sensitivity. Yeah, its sandwiched between poo and other unashamedly puerile humour but juvenile it is not. It’s Crass, funny, beautiful and heartbreakingly brutal all at the same time whilst often taking the time to nod towards its initial tone. It feels more like the jokes you make with your friends in the privacy of your own home (this might say more about me than it does about the film) and as long as you accept that, the story is quite frankly “deep fried gold” (nod to Simon Pegg.)



This film relies completely on its acting and writing and it succeeded beyond my expectation from this genre. It starts as one thing and goes somewhere else. Somewhere unexpected and touching. Jack Spring has done an epic job. If this how he directs at 19 I can only imagine where the future will take him.


To be clear, I don’t mention his age to patronise, it’s a sign of respect. The maturity to blend immature humour with a serious topic like cancer could easily have gone very wrong and made for uncomfortable viewing but it didn’t and that is something you won’t see often. Well played sir.


DESTINATION: DEWSBURY is released in select Showcase Cinemas now. For more information, please head to 




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