1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The redoubtable Steve Coogan plays Simon Garden, a thirty-something Parole Officer, with a staggering lack of professional success. He's had 1000 parolees under his care and only 3 haven't returned to a life of crime. He works for the Parole Board in Manchester and discovers some bent cops operating in the local police force, led by the extremely violent Detective Inspector Burton, who strangles a man to death whilst Simon's watching. D.I. Burton buys Simon's silence about the crime by threatening to frame him for the murder.
An extremely pretty female police officer, Emma, befriends Simon, and becomes involved in his plan to rob a bank, which is holding a video tape of the murder. Simon needs the tape to prove his innocence and is soon rounding up a team of miscreants, namely some of his parolees, to help him carry out the bank job...
This is a fairly enjoyable action comedy, which is less campy and lampoonish than a Carry On flick or Naked Gun movie, it's vibe is more similar to a spoof like Shaun Of The Dead. Coogan plays Simon like a watered down version of Alan Partridge, i.e. still somewhat socially inept and occasionally prone to placing his foot in his mouth, but significantly more self-aware and tactful. The scene in a museum with a phallic statue is absolutely hilarious, whilst Simon and Emma have a very nice chemistry together. Stars like Simon Pegg and Jenny Agutter make very fleeting cameo appearances.
All in all, this is a reasonably polished heist flick, with two or three extremely funny scenes, but lacking a little bit of magic. It's no Carry On Up The Khyber, more's the pity, but still, it's a solid enough 3.5 star picture.
Thank you very much for reading the review.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2004
You'd think that a man, who has just been punched on the nose by 2 scary looking guys and is trying to make a dramatic escape from the top of a roof, would do a bit more than say, "Augh...that hurt!" However, that's what makes it funny.
"The Parole Officer" is a nice little package of a comedy regarding the efforts of a somewhat quirky yet kind-hearted guy who decides to retrieve the evidence for a murder at all costs. The film displays everyday morality, and Steve Coogan performs marvallously well here - "I saw a man strangle a human being!...Well, an accountant."
This film is worth your money and time to watch. The great thing about is that it is not something typically British that is set in London, y'know, those stereotypes of Hugh Grant, etc.
on 16 July 2015
Failed parole officer Simon Garden is framed for a murder committed by one of Manchester's leading police officers.
The only evidence proving his innocence is a CCTV video tape locked inside a bank vault. With the help of four inept ex-criminals and love interest Emma, Garden must break into the bank and steal the CCTV footage in order to clear his name.....
Oh the transition from TV to big screen is a long and arduous path. Some succeed with very little effort (Simon Pegg), but for others, they suffer an unfortunate Mis-step, which hinders them for a while.
2001 had two particular cases of the latter. The awful Ali G Inda House was one, and this was the other casualty.
The story is good enough, but the humour just feels so seventies TV sitcom, and the inclusion of the vomit scene on The Big One wreaks of desperation. Every one who is a fan of Coogan knows that he is a comic genius, his characters are hilarious and self deprecating, but here with Garden, it seems that he is trying to hard to channel Peter Sellers, but it always ends up with him reverting back to Partridge, which hinders the narrative.
The rest if the cast are fine, but they are relegated to stereotypes, and appearing in little sketches that the film resorts too for laughs.
It's a shame, because there are a few funny moments in the film, Om Puri is truly funny in his role, but at the end of the day, it just feels like a TV Christmas special, and no amount of Omar Sharif in a comedy wig can change it
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There are plenty of laughs to be had in this charming little movie. The script is fresh from the word go; it bounces around the right side of funny and Coogan's comedic dexterity is put to great use. It's a real shame that he didn't do more of this before being tempted over the pond for dross like "the other guys". It's a typically british heist / comedy movie and is very funny at times. The set up, involving murder by a corrupt police officer and the bank heist to retrieve the evidence is wonderful and there isn't a bum note in the cast.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2007
From the tone of some of the negative reviews, there's no pleasing some people. 'The Parole Officer' is exactly what it looks like, a quirky and professional vehicle for Steve Coogan. His pedantic and klutzy parole officer Simon Garden is a fine creation, not as toe-curlingly embarrassing as the great Alan Partridge but more appealing. (Coogan actually looks handsome from time to time.) The comedy isn't exactly subtle, but I wouldn't have wanted to lose the gloriously bad-taste moment when Coogan is taken on a rollercoaster by one of his former clients and ends up repeatedly puking into the face of the angelic little girl sitting behind him.
The supporting cast more than take care of business, with Stephen Dillane as a sleazebag detective and Lena Headey as a rather implausibly gorgeous policewoman. It's a fine pizza movie without pretensions to being anything more.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2003
My older brother came home one day after a visit to the cinema. He said to me 'I've seen the best film ever, even better than Toy Story Two!' (lol) So he recieved the DVD of The Parole Officer for his birthday and together we witnesed the greatest film ever made.
The story takes place in Manchester where we meet the hero, Simon Garden (Steve Coogan) working as a parole officer. Simon is a hilarious character who manages to muck up every move me makes. Simon somehow finds himself in a spot of trouble when he is accused of a murder he didnt commit. The only proof of his innocence is a security video - but the tape is locked inside a bank vault. He gathers his ex-clients who have all succeeded in breaking their way out of crime and are conquering the businness world. Asking for their help in breaking into a bank was a difficult move for Simon, but as he explains his situation they eventually agree to help. This is no easy task for master criminals,for a bunch of losers, it's a mission impossible!
This film is for audiences of all ages that will make u laugh and cry ( with more laughter! hehe ). It's packed with stunts, action, romance and loads of laughter! Thankyou for reading my review.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2011
Some one described this as an Ealing type comedy. Ealing comedies, as far as I recall, did not pander to american audiences. There is a scene in this film where they appear to be running up, or down, an external fire escape, I've never seen an external fire escape attached to any building in the UK, please correct me if I'm wrong, in america these are ubiquitous!!!
At the end of the film there appears to be a bloke dancing on stage wearing an american police officers uniform??
It seems to be endemic, within films these days, to cater for the american market. Although this film has it's comic moments it is spoiled, for me at least, because it is so obviously pandering to the people across the pond, as are so many home grown films, and it is such a shame. It's all down to money, as usual.
Ealing comedy it isn't. Even Peter Sellers, like most prominent actors, were seduced by the dollar, eventually!! Coogan is no different, funny man or not!!It is after all called the parole officer, no such job title exists within the UK!!
The UK, 53rd state of america, very sad to see it happening in the film industry, but it seems like it's the only place that funding exists for film makers.
The film industry in the UK appears to have died and gone to LA a long time ago!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2011
This film is one from my childhood, and soon, just for the hell of it, i'm going to my local HMV to buy it, whether its £3.00 or £8.00 I dont care, I need to show my appreciation to Steve Coogan and Ben Miller and who ever else is in it, because I love it so much I cant tell you.
The plot is quick moving, very witty and pure. The character of Simon Garden is a known one, we have all met him lets face it. His accomplaces are all hilarious in they're own way, whether its George in his indian accent, "He Means a computer Virus, he's taking the Piss!" or Geoff the big bloke who knocks people out with one punch. They are all well formed and are so real.
i ust love this film, It might not be for all but I had to bump the stars up to show that I bloody love it, and always have since we watched it on NTL's "Front Row" in around 2003, those were the days.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
If you like Partrdige or Coogans run, you'll like this. If you like good English comedy films such as The Full Monty or Jonny English, then you'll love this, as its one of the best Ive seen in the last few years. The plot is basically a social worker who see's the good in others and has to fight his former employer over possession of a video tape that will send him to jail where he belongs. Its a great cast and a fantastic script, and Coogan is on top form, so buy it now while its on such a great offer!
on 27 March 2014
A very weak and insipid comedy, with few laughs and an extremely annoying 50s retro soundtrack a la Ealing.....I'm ashamed to say that I only laughed out loud once, and that was at the puking scene on the fairground ride. There was also a fair amount of factual inaccuracy which required a great deal of suspension of disbelief; I realise this is normal in comedy, but it became very irritating as the weakness of the comedy failed to support the basic fantasy elements of the film. Avoid - Steve Coogan is much more talented than this lame effort.