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  Seeing Double Send In The Clones
Year: 2003
Director: Nigel Dick
Stars: Tina Barrett, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O'Meara, Hannah Spearritt, Rachel Stevens, David Gant, Joseph Adams, Cristina Piaget, Meritxell Santamaria, Gareth Gates, Hans Juergen Richter, Domingo Calvo, Nigel Dick, Reg Wilson
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Deep in his lair beneath a sprawling Spanish castle a mad scientist (David Gant) prepares his latest scheme: six tubes, big enough to fit humans in, are sparking into life and there are figures inside, people who may look strangely familiar... Meanwhile, pop group S Club are relieved that their world tour is drawing to a close and finally they can get some rest and relaxation, but their manager Alastair (Joseph Adams) has bad news for them when he explains in no uncertain terms that they must now promote their new album. After a quick press conference where the usual stupid questions are asked, the group head off to their hotel and bed, but little do they know that Alastair has been knocked out and spirited away by a statuesque woman and now they're in real trouble...

Well, I say real trouble but if this film is to be believed it's no worse than a broken fingernail. An evil svengali manufactures his own band of malleable young singers to rake in oodles of cash in merchandise... but enough about Simon Fuller! A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh, dearie me... heh. Anyway, this was the only big screen outing for the S Club 7 as was, but by the time it was made there were only six after one of them had left. Not that it makes much difference, as the film is more a spin-off from the television series and a way of relieving grumbling parents of their hard earned cash.

It was written by Fuller's brother Kim Fuller (who also scripted Spiceworld for The Spice Girls) with Paul Alexander, but if you're hoping for a deconstruction of fame as seen by a pop group, then it should be pointed out that this is not the equivalent of The Monkees' Head. If anything it's more like The Beatles' Help! in tone, with various silly crises hitting our heroes, but nothing that a dance routine can't fix. Once they notice Alastair is out of the way, S Club opt for a day off, but what's this? The concert they were supposed to be giving in Los Angeles is, according to the live TV, going ahead with looky-likeys!

You could say that S Club were on shaky ground sending themselves up with soulless clones to replace them that obediently follow all management instructions, but it's all kept light and frothy. Due to everyone thinking that the clones are the real thing, the genuine group are arrested and put in a Spanish prison for non-payment of their hotel bills, but a quick rendition of "Don't Stop Movin'" sees them swiftly escape in the easiest jailbreak in movie history. Now they must fly to L.A. to track down their doubles and find out exactly what is going on.

Complex this is not, but really, who needs it to be? It's a colourful confection that does not betray the fact that the group were in the process of splitting up, a fact they announced soon after Seeing Double was released. As a comedy, it may provoke a few gentle chuckles, although some jokes seem in dubious taste ("A rectal scanner?!"), and S Club 7 did have a few excellent pop tunes in amongst the mush, some of which are showcased here - although the climactic song about clones is noticeably substandard. If the film seems more of a quickly produced afterthought than anything else, then that's not to say it doesn't entertain in its own breezy way. I'm still not sure who was who, mind you; well, one of them was Rachel Stevens and one of them was killed by Chucky, but further than that I'm lost. Yeah, OK, there was the one who was unpleasant on Celebrity Big Brother as well. Music by Jim Meacock.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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