The US President and the UK Prime Minister are looking to launch a war in the Middle East. The plot follows government officials and advisers in their behind-the-scenes efforts either to promote the war or prevent it. Spinal Tap meets Strangelove. A satirical demolition of Whitehall and Washington: politically astute, hilarious and terrifyingly real.
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At The Movies
In The Loop (18A) * * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
War can be hellish. Efforts to go into combat are often made after lots of consideration. At least thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how things are supposed to work. What happens when plans go off the rails? Examine closely In The Loop, a daring and brilliant black comedy from Alliance Films to see how words can lead to big trouble. Only being shown at The Fifth Avenue Cinema this British treat is a must see for fans of stylish humour.
Director Armando Iannucci pulls off a wonderful movie thanks to unbelievably clever lines. Dialogue driven in the extreme, In The Loop runs hoops around a bunch of bureaucrats who let their jobs get the better of them. Down London way we see the trials and tribulations of a lonely economic minister named Simon Foster. How this weak-kneed fellow ever got elected into power is anybodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s guess. Now that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s there heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a bit on the naÃƒÂ¯ve side.
When Simon Ã¢â‚¬Å“lets slipÃ¢â‚¬Â his feelings about war it sets off a chain reaction like no other. Nuclear meltdown comes to mind when SimonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s war mongering gets taken completely out of context. Out to put out the storm is his opposite number, a communications expert called Malcolm Tucker. Sparks fly often when these two come together.
As if that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough tension in this wild and wacky farce we have a series of assistants who further ratchet up the hilarity of the situation along with a visit from various Americans who are either diplomats or military muscle or even lowly aides to the power brokers. Through it all mistakes are made on a constant basis as every character has their words and feelings skewered in a way bound to tickle your tummy.
Superb casting complements the outstanding dialogue here. Each character has their own story to tell and once you get through the accents it will be a breeze to follow the logic in the best black comedy fiasco since 1964Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s classic Dr. Strangelove. Watch out for the dynamite show put on by Peter Capaldi (SmillaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Sense of Snow) who seizes the screen as the gruff and tough Tucker, a man who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mince words. More on the shy side is Tom Hollander (Valkyrie) whose timidity as Simon perfectly counterbalances the bombastic Tucker. Secondary characters here are also extremely well defined with lots of back chat that seems as real as can be. All the back stabbing and second guessing cleverly keep you intrigued throughout this sensational 106 minute odyssey that point to sharp writing, timeliness and expert execution.
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