Toby Jones (The Hunger Games), Bill Nighy (Love, Actually), and Michael Gambon (Harry Potter) lead the charge in this movie adaptation of the classic '60s/'70s British sit-com. Co-stars Catherine Zeta-Jones.... More
It is 1944 and World War II is reaching its climax. The Allies are poised to invade France and finally defeat the German army. But in Walmington-on-Sea, morale amongst the Home Guard is low. A new mission – to patrol the Dover army base – is a great chance to revive spirits and reputation... That is, until glamorous journalist Rose Winters (Zeta-Jones) arrives to write about their exploits, setting the pulses racing and putting the local women on red alert. MI5 then discover a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea. There’s a spy on the loose and the outcome of the war is suddenly at stake.Hide
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BY Paul Casserly Flicks Writer
The TV series Dad’s Army was a work of comedy genius. It boasted an ensemble cast up there with Cheers, Seinfeld, M.A.S.H. and even The Office. It’s part of TV folklore. It presented men dressed in uniforms not as heroes but as bumbling fools. The posters may have said Keep Calm and Carry On, but if the Nazis had made it over the Channel, the old duffers and dodgers of The Home Guard would have been neither use nor ornament. When it first ran, in the late 1960s, it was considered somewhat edgy, and though it never laid claim to the satirical territory mapped out by M.A.S.H. it had a gentle subversiveness to it.... More
Turning a much-loved TV classic into a movie is always a tricky business, but my hopes were high when I saw the casting for this last year, most of which seemed inspired. As it turns out Michael Gambon is a right laugh as the dithering Godfrey and Toby Jones is so superb as Captain Mainwaring I began to think that he could single-handedly win the war on lameness. It was a valiant effort, but as Fraser might say, it was “doomed” to fail.
There is fun to be had in rating the various imposters posing as, say, Sergeant Wilson (Bill Nighy, good), or his nephew Pike (Blake Harrison, average). Bill Paterson gets the tone right as the humorless Scottish undertaker Fraser, but Tom Courtney’s Jones lacks energy.
Catherine Zeta-Jones doesn’t help things, as usual.
Another sport to wile away the time is waiting for those classic lines, like the “stupid boy” that Wilson lays on Pike and the “DON’T PANIC, DON’T PANIC!” of the nervous Jones. But the returns are diminishing.
I took my elderly mum to the film, and she enjoyed it well enough, but noted, “there’s not much of a story, is there?” And then, the ultimate measure of the older reviewer, “it’s not a patch on the Marigold ones”. Given that the same director, (Oliver Parker) and some of the cast (Nighy) are present, that’s obviously the market this is aimed at. Call it a miss.Hide
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BY flapper123 superstar
I did manage to stay for the credits at... More the end of the film where the camera landed on a much older and greyer Ian Lavender(who played Pike in the TV series).Hide
BY thorinoak superstar
But this evening I was presently surprised. The film was an utter delight with the whole audience, mostly my age surprisingly, laughing from start to finish.
A lot of the negative reviews I read were that the jokes were confined only to innuendo about sausages and rolly pollies and repeated catch phrases. While innuendo and catch phrases were part of the humor there was so much more than that with witty lines and fantastic physical comedy (especially from Toby Jones). Granted, although the story was a little basic at times it did have a couple of twists and turns near the end, keeping the audience engrossed throughout. Surprisingly never once did I end up comparing the new actors with the old. Jones became Mainwaring, Nighy became Wilson, and Gambon brilliantly became Godfrey (a crowd favorite).
This is a fun, light hearted re imaging and tribute to Dad's Army with laughs galore that will warm the cockles of your heart and plaster a smile across your face long after you leave the theater. I only hope we see more of this cast as the Walmington on Sea Home Guard as they were superb. Utterly brilliant!Hide
BY filmlover superstar
I really wanted to like this. Loved the TV show and, to be fair, this ensemble cast of venerated codgers treated their characters with great respect. Sadly, though, the laughs were few and far between and the story was thin and predictable. What a shame. Lovely to look at but hard to sit through.