TATINOF, or ‘The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire’ was a hugely successful international tour centring on internet stars Dan Howell and Phil Lester – but if you’re reading this review, you probably already knew that. The duo have now taken the tour back to their spiritual home, the internet, in the form of a brand new movie; which was recorded during a performance of the tour in Hollywood, California.
We’ve watched the film, re-watched and now we’re ready to present our review. There’s a lot of cool stuff to talk about here, so we’ve broken the review down into separate parts: ‘The Show’, ‘The Stars’, ‘Who Is It For?’ and ‘Is It Any Good?’ You should then hopefully be able reach a conclusion at the end about whether or not you should watch it.
Don’t worry – we will keep things as spoiler-free as possible.
When you fire up the TATINOF movie, it is immediately apparent how much work has gone into the show. This is not two blokes from the internet wandering out on stage, blinking in the lights and awkwardly spouting memes, this is a show. Time and effort has been put into the staging, the sets, the props, the lights, the visual effects – everything.
There is a nice overarching storyline which gives the show structure and purpose and the script is tightly-written, with jokes and quips being thrown out at a break-neck speed from the moment the pair step on stage. There are also moments of genuine emotion, which sneak up on you through all the jokes and gags. In terms of entertainment, you really feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
As a viewer you will find yourself watching what is effectively a variety of mini-shows, some taken directly from the duo’s videos and some created purely for the stage. The segments are all extremely visual, overflowing with in-jokes and genuinely very funny – there’s one surprise meme moment in particular that we really want to tell you about but we don’t want to spoil anything. Rest assured – if there’s a particular Dan and Phil video, joke or meme that you like in particular, it will appear in TATINOF.
We’v discussed the show, but what of its stars? The uninitiated may be forgiven for assuming that two YouTubers who pride themselves on never going outside might not have the best stage presence. Happily, though, this couldn’t be further from the truth. From the outset both Dan and Phil are confident, fluid and word-perfect. They nail the timing of their jokes and leap head-first into the more physical elements of the show with total enthusiasm. In fact, this is arguably the best thing about watching TATINOF: the fact that not only are Dan and Phil really giving it their all, but that they’re also very clearly having fun doing it.
This is make or break for a live show, especially one that relies as heavily on comedy as this one. If the performers aren’t confident, the audience feels uncomfortable; and if the performers aren’t having fun, the audience can’t have fun either. Within the first five minutes of the show we were comfortably laughing out loud – so we think you can guess if Dan and Phil managed to pull things off successfully.
Who Is It For?
TATINOF is unashamedly for the fans (or should we say, Phans) and that’s absolutely fine. Dan and Phil have clearly designed the show to give back to the fans that have followed them so loyally and so lovingly over their careers. That being said, there is still plenty to enjoy even if you’ve never heard of Dan and Phil. While the numerous (and we mean numerous) in-jokes may fly over the head of a non-Phan, there is an undeniable joy in watching a dude start a chant of ‘mount the llama’ to try and make his friend mount a 10ft tall cardboard llama. The show is also pretty clean so you could comfortably watch it with (cool) family members.
Is It Any Good?
Let’s be real here: Dan and Phil have such huge audiences and such rabid fans that they could have easily rolled up on stage, done a bunch of recycled material from their videos, waltzed off and still made as much money. What we’re saying is, they didn’t need to put effort into this show – but they did.
This is a piece of entertainment that oozes with effort and with love. Time has been put into this production – into its story, its set, its staging and its script. Even the in-jokes that are thrown out to the viewer are not done casually – they’re worked into the story in an organic way. This is two creative people having a lot of fun presenting an audience who adore them with a labour of love. It’s energetic and it’s carefree. It’s 90 minutes of pure joy.