With its lively cast of colourful characters, banter-rich dialogue and a mysterious plot, 12 In A Box is a wonderfully witty comedy which not only keeps you laughing, keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish with the hint of a dark secret.
12 In A Box sees a group of old school friends meet at what they believe to be a reunion lunch at a luxurious mansion in the English countryside. Little do they know that they have all been brought together by a former student who ended up a lonely old man with no family or friends to inherit his riches. He decides to give the group a million pounds each because he believes they are the closest thing to a family he has left.
The catch? Everyone has to remain inside the premises for 96 hours. It might seem like a piece of cake, but even one apparently simple task can cannonball disastrously out of control when undertaken by this lot. High jinks pile upon lunacy, and just when we thought things couldn’t get any more absurd – they do. New people begin entering the house, who have unknowingly joined the game too.
Writer and director of 12 In A Box – John McKenzie – has created a tight, witty script which is genuinely funny without being pretentious or hackneyed. But there are more than laughs here, we’re also intrigued because the plot has more twists and turns than the Labyrinth. The unpredictable plot features strange complications which build organically on each other throughout the film.
Apart from Miranda Hart, 12 In A Box features an ensemble cast of lesser known actors. The British comedian has been marketed as having a lead role, but disappointingly only features very lightly in the film. In almost all her roles Miranda Hart normally plays a bumbling, chatterbox who ends up in awkward situations, and 12 In A Box is no different. However, her short performance cannot be faulted – she’s certainly had a lot of practise portraying this type of character.
Other than Miranda’s short and sweet cameo, the funny script is executed excellently by the rest of the motley crew – standout performers include Belle Hithersay as the seemingly innocent and religious Alice, as well as Kenneth Collard as Barry, who is prepared to skip his own wedding to earn the million pound prize.
The film is packed with all the key elements of classic British farce. From the characters like the short-fused, bumbling, Basil Fawlty-like Alan (as played by Cargill) to scenarios where burglars end up being fed toast soldiers while tied to a chair, it’s safe to say it can’t get any more bizarre and British.
Overall, 12 In A Box will have you laughing-out-loud as well enjoying the story. It is British comedy at its best.
12 in a Box is in cinemas on 25th March and available to pre-order on DVD from Amazon now.