Cheeky chappy James Corden sticks to type but nevertheless tickles with former ‘Gavin and Stacey’ co-star Mathew Baynton in this fun comedy-thriller about two office drones embroiled in a case of mistaken identity. After answering a lost mobile phone, Sam (Baynton), a figure cut closer to a Quentin Blake illustration than an Iron Man-style superhero, is burdened with the company of eager beaver colleague Phil (Corden) when he goes to the rescue of a hostage.
The evolving bromance has a familiar flavour, but it’s by steering clear of complete spoofery that ‘The Wrong Mans’ finds its surprisingly comfortable stride, somewhere between gags and action. The success of films like ‘Kick-Ass’ suggests we’re a public with a soft spot for have-a-go heroes, making Corden and Baynton’s offering well gauged. It’s the television equivalent of jelly: not particularly sophisticated, but a pleasant treat all the same.
Famous faces (David Harewood, Dougray Scott) are underutilised, sliding past the camera as if on a conveyor belt peopled by Corden’s celebrity pals. Luckily, Baynton’s impressive comic dexterity covers everything from deadpan to daft, tempering Corden’s potentially dominating presence and making for a balanced double act. Kate Callaghan, 23, is a jam maker from Stoke Newington. She was selected to write this review as part of the Time Out Takeover – a special edition of the magazine written entirely by our readers.