Movie Review: Dad’s Army: a creaky comedy

Cinemaddicts.co.nz

Cinemaddicts.co.nz is a website dedicated to bringing you the latest reviews, trailers, news and more in the world of film.

Dad’s Army is a British film that feels very British – so that’s fitting. It’s also a film that feels like a TV series, and since it’s based on a sitcom of the same name – that’s fitting, too. Fittingly, too, British director Oliver Parker has directed many a UK TV series e.g. The Bill and UK films e.g. Johnny English Reborn, so he should know what he is doing transitioning a UK sitcom into a UK film. Fittingly, the cast is littered with highly regarded British actors like Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta Jones, and yet, somehow, this comedy just does not gel.

The film opens in 1944 as World War II is drawing to a close. The Allied victory over Germany is almost guaranteed. But in Walmington-on-Sea, the blundering Home Guard is finding it difficult to patrol the Dover army base. When a gorgeous journalist called Miss Winters arrives in town, the men all lust after her, which distracts them from their mission of finding the German spy who is sending radio transmissions from their beach. Various escapades ensue but the film’s climax crafts a scenario that offers an opportunity for Dad’s Army to prove that they are not doddering old fools.

The use of puns and sexual innuendo is a staple of British film and theatre, and writer Hamish McColl employs them aplenty, but references to a woman being ‘given a sausage’ and a wife claiming that ‘my roly-poly is better than hers’ just makes the dialogue feel clunky and awkward. It’s a bit anachronistic, like watching a ‘Carry-on’ film that cracks double-entendres that are neither relevant nor funny. Even the farce sequence, where various members of the Dad’s Army platoon arrive to visit Miss Winter, and then hide behind her furniture, is only mildly funny.

Casting British acting royalty like Michael Gambon (Private Godfrey), Toby Jones (Capt Mainwaring) and Bill Paterson (Private Frazer) to play befuddled old fellows should’ve guaranteed laughs because the male characters are all naive bumpkins – yet even they cannot make it work.  The female cast is also a British acting talent line-up e.g. Felicity Montagu is Mainwaring’s wife, and Sarah Lancashire is Pike’s mother and Nighy’s better half, yet their characters are so unappealing that it is almost impossible for the audience to warm to these actresses, or characters. Sure the costuming, like eveyone’s acting, is superb; the sets look authentic, and the cinematography is classy, but none of these things can compensate for an intrinsically weak plot.

I have never seen an episode of the TV series of Dad’s Army, but I suspect that those people who were fans of the show, will find the film disappointing. As a stand-alone film, this offering lacks the subtlety of a truly funny comedy and the dignity of nostalgic drama. Like the shooting skills of most men in Dad’s Army, whatever they were aiming for with this film … they missed!

 
Sort by
  • New Member says
    You will look amazing and feel young again by simply using our products on a daily basis according to the instructions that are written on the products’ labels. BABA REVIEWS
  • New Member says
    However, we are here and can advise you on the best company to deal with, which is trusted and have a highly regarded reputation in this field. There are often companies that don’t act in accordance with the strict customs and excise laws of consignments in the country, and many clients have had their orders seized. Peptides Australia Review
  • New Member says
    Some prices have sky rocketed as much as 8% in some areas. This could be from a number of things such as the recent announcement of changes to Australian welfare, possible change to the budget or changes to the income tax system. bogan
  • says
    Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
    unisex wallets free shipping
  • New Member says
    At Euphoria we know it’s not just about the high quality of the products we use, it’s about the entire experience we provide. Not all clinics are the same, and it’s important to remember this when choosing a clinic to perform your cosmetic medicine treatments. Screens ‘n’ More
  • New Member says
    Puddle sure the web is having sufficiency charging attribute description of your website, then there is a momentary have content on your website. Inexpensive seo services | Web marketing
  • New Member says
    much obliged to you for an incredible post. non-medical home care in North Miami Beach
  • New Member says
    Your web journal gave us important data to work with. Each and every tips of your post are great. You're the best to share. Continue blogging.. in-home care in littleton
  • New Member says
    We brook our byplay relationships significantly and cause to reach lasting on-lineament. Accounting sheets | Best link building service forum

Post your comment

Want to have your say?

It's quick, easy and 100% free.

  •  

Features

Endorsed Events

  • SpringBreakFIJI SpringBreakFIJI

    Secure your motivation for the year by locking in SpringBreak in Fiji, your own exclusive island

  • The Fijian Cup The Fijian Cup

    The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...

  • Rock Island VANUATU Rock Island VANUATU

    From a fully chartered resort, an incredible line up of Kiwi musicians and Rock legends flown in you'll find nothing close to...

  • Summit FIJI Summit FIJI

    Summit FIJI aims to revolutionise how businesses can approach conferences, corporate retreats and team building weekends