Film Review: Fisherman’s Friends – One and All (2022)

An utterly unnecessary sequel, Fisherman’s Friends: One and All should be thrown back in the sea

“I’ve seen dressed crabs look more lively”

It was perhaps inevitable wasn’t it. After a highly charming first film that did the job perfectly well, the demands for a sequel are too rarely ignored and so here we have Fisherman’s Friends: One and All. Written again by Nick Moorcroft, Meg Leonard and Piers Ashworth, it feels totally redundant without anything meaningful to say in terms of its storytelling and consequently squandering so much goodwill.

The film is ostensibly centred on the difficult second album syndrome but quickly abandons that for an absolute mishmash of barely sketched subplots. Farmer-hating, cod-alcoholism, cancel culture, mineshaft accidents, romantic tribulations…we skip from one to the next to the next with no real sense of any dramatic imperative being built up. It’s a real throw-it-to-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach.

Given that nothing does indeed stick, the film thus becomes a real trial. This is exacerbated by what we know has gone before, the quality that James Purefoy, Sam Swainsbury et al brought to the fisherman, the uplift Jade Anouka and Maggie Steed were able to bring when the narrative deigns to feature them. Even the musical numbers here begin to lose their lustre as the film barely manages to tread water.

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