Dad's Army

Film, Comedy
2 out of 5 stars
Dad's Army

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

The top-notch cast keep calm and carry on, but this TV remake is a waste of everyone’s time

If you grew up in the ’80s you’ll remember reruns of ‘Dad’s Army’ during that soul-sapping stretch of Sunday evening telly somewhere between ‘Songs of Praise’ and ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. Now – why oh why? – someone has decided that what we really, really need is a big screen version. Like 40 years (and several generations of sitcoms) never happened, this pointless remake of the wartime comedy opens with a platoon of old men being chased round a field by a bull.

These venerable duffers are Home Guard volunteers, the men who will protect Britain with their DIY weapons if the Germans invade. The action hots up with the arrival of Catherine Zeta-Jones as a foxy journalist on assignment from Lady magazine, while at the same time MI5 get intelligence of a Nazi spy infiltrating the town.

To be fair, the cast is best of British. Toby Jones is comedy gold as Captain Mainwaring, the ridiculous and pompous bank manager in charge of the platoon. Bill Nighy does a lot of debonair eyebrow arching as Sergeant Wilson, his suave second in command, and Michael Gambon is adorable as the dithery, dotty Private Godfrey. But the wink-wink double entendres are painful.

There is an interesting-ish side-plot involving a women’s auxiliary platoon and two sharp-as-dagger-tips Miss Marples who have everything sussed from the start. Going down the all-female route (like the new ‘Ghostbusters’) would have been something. But even granddad has moved on from teatime comedy gags about jam roly-poly.


Release details

Release date:
Friday February 5 2016
100 mins

Cast and crew

Oliver Parker
Hamish McColl
Bill Nighy
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Michael Gambon
Alison Steadman
Julia Foster
Tom Courtenay
You may also like