Who Do You Think You Are Kidding?
So… I really love cheese. Blue cheese, soft cheese, holey cheeses, goats cheese. All delicious. In fact; the only way I could like them more is if I smeared them over my body and basted myself in red onion chutney.
My mum, however, is terrified of the fat content so she only ever buys low-fat cheese, or as it’s also known, low flavour cheese. It’s not bad it’s just that I see it as an underwhelming attempt to imitate the original.
Dad’s Army feels much the same.
The film goes to great lengths to imitate the original, carefully choosing where to drop in the term “stupid boy” and other such lines that draw out a sense of nostalgia for the original TV series.
With a cast that consists of legendary British actors such as Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Toby Jones and Catherine Zeta-Jones anyone would have thought that the comedy would flow as readily as my nose right now – damn cold – but that’s just not the case. The cast are all clearly trying but the targeting system seems broken so a bullseye of comedic timing is never hit.
I’m not sure if this is down to the film’s direction, script or editing but the farcical elements that you loved from the original TV series never really blow up on screen but instead they fizzle out like some unexploded ordnance.
It doesn’t help that the plot is so blindingly obvious that you end up checking your pockets for a crystal ball because you know of all the events before they happen. Unfortunately there is a bigger problem with the script and that’s the fact that it’s 2016.
Because the film is painstakingly trying to replicate the original it fails to bring it up to date. The idea of a spy in the midst is fine but when the plot solely relies on the idea of Germans invading but now well… that is as meaningful as Jedward are to the majority of the populace in 2016.
The idea of there being a spy should have been introduced much earlier on and they could have built in situations around trying to identify who the spy is. However, half of the film is introducing the characters to new viewers so by the time we learn there is a spy you had already intercepted a telegram informing you exactly who it is.
All this leaves the film feeling both redundant and pointless and that’s actually a great shame because like that low flavour cheese my mum buys it looks like the real thing but it’s just not Dad’s Army.
If it wasn’t for the strong cast the film would have sunk faster than a German U-Boat. Instead they manage to carry the film to its conclusion with nothing more than mild concussion. For those who never watched the TV series this is not a good starting point but those who loved the original will find it a whimsical trip down memory lane. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it is missing the fat that makes it delicious.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Great cast
+ Will evoke nostalgia Dad’s Army
– Not very funny
– Plot is too obvious