\u2018But you know that old thing, live fast, die young? Not my way. Live fast, sure, live too bloody fast sometimes, but die young? Die old. That's the way- not orthodox, I don't live by "the rules."\u2019\r\n\r\nSo said David Brent, the quintessential \u201cboss from hell\u201d who first came to public prominence in seminal BBC comedy \u201cThe Office\u201d and is now getting the big-screen treatment in \u201cDavid Brent: Life on the Road.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe was a character that launched the careers of creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and gave birth to a new form of cringe comedy that still pervades the genre 15 years later.\r\n\r\nFirst airing in 2001, \u201cThe Office\u201d was as much a play on the developing insta-celebrity culture of the early reality TV era as it was an observational comedy about the everyday minutiae of working in an office. It spawned a long-running American remake, catapulted Gervais into the comedy stratosphere and set the tone for comedy in the 21st century.\r\n\r\nYet under the veneer of the mockumentary format, first popularised by films such as \u201cSpinal Tap\u201d, \u201cThe Office\u201d was effectively a study of one man\u2019s desperate attempt to be famous, whatever the cost. So there\u2019s a certain sense of incongruity in Gervais\u2019s decision to bring back a character originally intended to ridicule those striving to stay in the celebrity spotlight. Brent was once described by comedian David Baddiel as Ricky Gervais without self-awareness, which is ironic given the circumstances in which he is returning.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe film catches up with an older Brent on tour with his band \u2018Foregone Conclusion\u2019, shadowed by a film crew looking to document the fate of the former Slough middle manager. Whilst it\u2019s a believable turn of events for Brent, it suggests Gervais himself is looking for one last hurrah with the comedy creation that put him on the map.\r\n\r\nBrent\u2019s transformation in the original series from vain, delusional idiot to slightly more self-aware idiot was a perfectly understated send-off. Yet, here he is, fifteen years later, having ostensibly learnt nothing from the fictional film crew that broadcast his every faux pas to the world in \u201cThe Office\u201d.\r\n\r\nThe film has also been made without the input of long-time writing partner Merchant, who arguably provided a moderating influence over Gervais\u2019 greater excesses and whose absence here hints at potential creative differences in the decision to revive the character. They both boast a patchy track record since their collaborative partnership ended with the mockumentary series \u201cLife\u2019s Too Short\u201d and the mixed reviews for \u201cLife on the Road\u201d suggest Merchant\u2019s presence may be missed.\r\n\r\nThe film will also have to make do without the relationship of Tim (Martin Freeman) and Dawn (Lucy Davies), which served as the humanising and emotional linchpin of the original series. David Brent, whilst uniquely funny, carried little of the dramatic burden in \u201cThe Office\u201d, so it remains to be seen whether Gervais can manage to extract enough pathos from the polarising, grating Brent to support a feature-length film.\r\n\r\nThere's not necessarily any harm in revisiting a beloved fictional creation, but for a character predicated on the idea of knowing when to give up the ghost and the comedic potential when they don't, it needs to\u00a0be worth the wait.