Beyond the Pole

This film is a genuine oddity, fusing up-to-the-minute eco-doc aesthetics with a woolly Britcom storytelling style. When directionless losers Brian (Rhys Thomas) and Mark (Stephen Mangan) feel the urge to do something dynamic to stress the perils of global warming, their best idea is to embark on a carbon-neutral, vegetarian and organic two-man hike to the North Pole. Filming the adventure on handicam, the pair set out into the frozen wastes armed with grit, gumption and blind British optimism.

There’s a lot to like here: memorable supporting characters, a few digs at the lentil-and-patchouli crowd and some terrific landscape photography. But the script is a loose affair, meandering from set piece to set piece without building up a head of narrative steam. It’s also not funny enough and is packed with improvisational asides that may have been hilarious on set, but just doesn't work in a feature.

Release details

Cast and crew

Director: David L Williams
Cast: Rhys Thomas
Stephen Mangan
Mark Benton