19 April 2009 | the_rattlesnake25
Wall-Ace and Gromit!
One of the best political satirical comedies in years! 'In The Loop' is a spin-off (kind-of) of the fantastic British comedy 'The Thick of It', and follows Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), a Cabinet Minister who makes a series of unfortunate slip-ups, the first is when he tells an interviewer that he believes war (always referred to as the invasion or the war, but never Iraq or potentially Afghanistan) is "unforeseeable" before telling journalists under pressure that you have to conquer a mountain of conflict on the path of peace. These mistakes place him in the middle of a diplomatic mine-field as both, the anti-war constabulary led by General Miller (James Gandolfini) and the Assistant Secretary of Diplomacy Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy), and the gung-ho supporter of war Linton Barwick (David Rasche) - so crazy he keeps a live grenade as a paperweight - want Simon as a transatlantic partner to support their cause. Should he put his conscience or his political career first? Oh, and throw in hilariously vicious Senior British Press Office Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) and a bumbling Adviser to the minster (Toby played by Chris Addison) and you have one of the best political satires to come from Britain in years.
What makes the film work so well is the incredibly sharp witty script from a collaboration of writers that keeps the gag-per-minute counter ticking. Every meeting, confrontation political mishap is cradled with joke after joke whether they are subtle references to the cynicism and underhandedness in the current (or foregone) political climate or simply one of Malcolm Tucker's fantastic rants – "I'm going to tear out your shinbone, split it in two and stab you to f**king death with it" - at ineptitude of everybody around him. Every actor and actress involved give solid performances as the flawed members of the tense political world. While Simon's central story keeps the film on the ground despite a few diplomatic detours (that are still hilarious, even though they take up little of the running of time).
Armando Iannucci has already proved to the British public that he can create entertainment for the TV-masses and 'In The Loop' proves he also has the skills to replicate this on a wider, international, big-screen scale as well. It's intelligent, it's offensive, and it's bleeding funny. See this film!