In the Loop (15)

Film

Comedy

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Apr 14 2009

Cover your eyes: is this another well-loved sitcom dying an embarrassing death on the big screen? Far from it – Armando Iannucci has turned his satirical series ‘The Thick of It’ into a film that sparkles with the same filthy humour, spoken by the same morally empty vessels in the same mundane corridors of power that marked the brilliant TV version. Shaky cameras, bad suits and crappy furnishings don’t automatically equal documentary-style reality – but combined with smart performances and a politically astute script that wisely sidesteps specifics but feeds on the tenor of real events, they go a long way to achieving it. It’s also a welcome celebration of  polished and engaged comic writing that very rarely feels laboured and always feels that it has a serious point to make amid the ample gags.

Iannucci and his team give the world of ‘The Thick of It’ a filmic spin by unfolding their story on either side of the Atlantic and guessing what may happen behind closed doors in Whitehall and Washington DC in the lead up to a contentious conflict in the Middle East. But much is familiar. Peter Capaldi returns as the Prime Ministerial attack dog Malcolm Tucker – think Alastair Campbell with rabies – and Chris Addison is again an ineffective Whitehall flunky whose lacks of scruples extend to blaming infidelity on his peacenik tendencies.

Tom Hollander very effectively picks up where Chris Langham left off: a fall guy for the conspiracies and gags of others, he’s the new, inexperienced, vaguely idealistic but vain Secretary of State for International Development who becomes a pawn for hawks and doves on either side of the pond when he accidentally supports and then denounces war in two disastrous media appearances. In Washington, James Gandolfini offers one of the film’s few moral centres as an army general against conflict because he’s been there and knows it’s horrific.

It’s not easy to transfer the spirit of a half-hour show to a feature film, and there are some chapters that drag, especially when Capaldi, who gets all the best lines, disappears from view. But mostly Iannucci keeps the pace up with snappy twists and turns, a tone that mixes screwball with precise observation and by keeping a keen eye on the performances of even minor characters, such as the over-achieving, barely legal automatons that pepper the offices of Washington. It’s a film that is both insanely funny and a desperate cry for sanity.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 17, 2009

Duration:

106 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.5 / 5

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LiveReviews|24
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Trent

To all the idiots taking this seriously; get a sense of humour. The writers did not intend to make mockery of the events of the last Gulf War OR in fact glamorise and humourise 'desk murderers'. If you actually watch the film it shows how f*cking shambolic the whole system is and how funny it can be when it all goes tits up. You don't have to find it funny or even like it, just don't bring the stale odour of PC into this intentionally frank, fantastically written and acted piece of UK gold. So f*ck off you lot; you obviously missed the complex power-plays, spin cycles and buck passing. You obviously had a nap very time Malcolm Tucker swept on screen and delivered some of the funniest lines in recent British comedy. and you must have nipped off for a piss when Malcolm and cohort Jamie were hilariously careening around Washington trying to mop up the mess. I bet you only like films where ever word has been carefully placed to inform the narrative and each scene is a piece of art in it's own right; essentially boring shit.

Trent

To all the idiots taking this seriously; get a sense of humour. The writers did not intend to make mockery of the events of the last Gulf War OR in fact glamorise and humourise 'desk murderers'. If you actually watch the film it shows how f*cking shambolic the whole system is and how funny it can be when it all goes tits up. You don't have to find it funny or even like it, just don't bring the stale odour of PC into this intentionally frank, fantastically written and acted piece of UK gold. So f*ck off you lot; you obviously missed the complex power-plays, spin cycles and buck passing. You obviously had a nap very time Malcolm Tucker swept on screen and delivered some of the funniest lines in recent British comedy. and you must have nipped off for a piss when Malcolm and cohort Jamie were hilariously careening around Washington trying to mop up the mess. I bet you only like films where ever word has been carefully placed to inform the narrative and each scene is a piece of art in it's own right; essentially boring shit.

Mike

A poor imitation of 60s satire. How on earth Iannuchi can want credit for such a roughly-put-together schoolboy presentation is hard to understand. Don't waste your time.

Sutton

A humourous political satire, though a tad disappointing if you have seen the TV show as it doesn't really add much for being on at the cinema. Neverthess, great to see an English satire on the big screen.

Richard Jeremy

Was sceptical when I went to see this, because although Ianucci's usually good, TV-series-becoming-films don't have a good record and political comedy can often be too shallow and relying on easy, cynical laughs. However, this is great stuff. Spot on dark humour and laugh-while-you-cringe agony that had the whole of the cinema giggling through fingers.

Richard Jeremy

Was sceptical when I went to see this, because although Ianucci's usually good, TV-series-becoming-films don't have a good record and political comedy can often be too shallow and relying on easy, cynical laughs. However, this is great stuff. Spot on dark humour and laugh-while-you-cringe agony that had the whole of the cinema giggling through fingers.

Hugh

This must be one of the worst films ever. It's the first time I have walked out during a film. Tried to endure for more than the 80 minutes I watched this puerile humour - puerile apart from the use of obscenities in every sentence. Save your money.

usman khawaja

this is a sharp reminder that COEN BROTHERS have been desperately trying to write a clone of this sharp black comedy but they need more then an empty style to achieve an intelligent coup in this genre . the whole anglo american conglomerate of war on TERROR with spin doctors and the intelligence dossiers and lies about WMDS are taken for a ride in a hilarious travesty of the current milieu while at the same time you are pathetically aware that nothing is going to change ever and the bertayal and deception will last while the culprits offer a sacrificial goat picked at random and that is what makes this rather lunatic and wry movie quite subtle and bittersweet too . the characters and the political pastiche and the foul steet language used in the highest echelons of sophisticated governing bodies only is trying to emphasize how disappointingly average and ordinary humanity is at all levels . the immorality here though is rendered like a souffle and it tastes good even though at times the whole thing is overcooked . i really do not see how anyone will not be amused by this political satire on our society as this also reflects virtually not just politicians but other fields of life in the way the characters behave and communicate without any logical rationale to achieve their ego mania - it the best docu drama narrative i have seen in quite a while and it was not trying to philosophize stylize ,or sermonise like the rest of the cinematic buffoons ,on the contrary this is quality rendered as quietly scalding humour and frifghteningly to ignore .

usman khawaja

this is a sharp reminder that COEN BROTHERS have been desperately trying to write a clone of this sharp black comedy but they need more then an empty style to achieve an intelligent coup in this genre . the whole anglo american conglomerate of war on TERROR with spin doctors and the intelligence dossiers and lies about WMDS are taken for a ride in a hilarious travesty of the current milieu while at the same time you are pathetically aware that nothing is going to change ever and the bertayal and deception will last while the culprits offer a sacrificial goat picked at random and that is what makes this rather lunatic and wry movie quite subtle and bittersweet too . the characters and the political pastiche and the foul steet language used in the highest echelons of sophisticated governing bodies only is trying to emphasize how disappointingly average and ordinary humanity is at all levels . the immorality here though is rendered like a souffle and it tastes good even though at times the whole thing is overcooked . i really do not see how anyone will not be amused by this political satire on our society as this also reflects virtually not just politicians but other fields of life in the way the characters behave and communicate without any logical rationale to achieve their ego mania - it the best docu drama narrative i have seen in quite a while and it was not trying to philosophize stylize ,or sermonise like the rest of the cinematic buffoons ,on the contrary this is quality rendered as quietly scalding humour and frifghteningly to ignore .

oldbrit

Loved the TV series, particularly Roger Allam. Pity they couldn't cast him in the movie but it was still hilarious and painfully accurate.

oldbrit

Loved the TV series, particularly Roger Allam. Pity they couldn't cast him in the movie but it was still hilarious and painfully accurate.

Lady Lee

Was persuaded to go but didn't really want to - very glad I did as it is a film I would see again. Very laugh out loud funny and clever & makes people think that politics isn't all boring & humdrum

Lady Lee

Was persuaded to go but didn't really want to - very glad I did as it is a film I would see again. Very laugh out loud funny and clever & makes people think that politics isn't all boring & humdrum

Tim

This is not a subject worthy of satire or attempted humour, what it is worthy of is mass prosecution and imprisonment. Entering this world of simpering power players even in satire was stomach churning, imagining the inane reality of all the desk murderers on, both sides of the Atlantic made it even worse .Attempts to draw humour from the events of the last few years simply trivialises the whole criminal freakshow. I was in a semi full screen untouched by any laughter apart from three stoners who cackled incessantly at any mention of 'cock' , balls' et al- the writing in general was quite pubescent. Avoid.

Anna

Can't remember the last time i laughed outloud from start to finish through a film, excellent.

Anna

Can't remember the last time i laughed outloud from start to finish through a film, excellent.

baillie

I havent seen the TV series but i want to now. I found myself waiting for the two scottish guys to come on screen to here was abuse they could shout out next , some truly hilarious one liners in it, and plenty of them .

baillie

I havent seen the TV series but i want to now. I found myself waiting for the two scottish guys to come on screen to here was abuse they could shout out next , some truly hilarious one liners in it, and plenty of them .

blueboyalx

I was really looking forward to seeing this and caught the second showing in town today. I have to say I was a little disappointed, I am a great fan of the television series and thought although there were some cracking lines in it (Capaldi is on top form as Tucker!) it seemed to lack something that kept me from loving it. To anyone who hasn't seen the tv series....go get it, it's brilliant!