Customer Review

10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sub-Python, and also not Python, 13 Aug 2003
This review is from: Jabberwocky [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
When I went to see this in the late 1970s, I assumed it was another Python spin-off. After all, any film containing Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michale Palin has to be at least half-Python. But as a comedy, the film left me strangely dissatisfied.
It is only now, browsing the DVD packaging some 25 years later, that I realise why I was so disappointed. The problem is that the writers were Terry Gilliam and (mainly) Charles Alverson. Much as I like Gilliam's animations, I have to admit that he was, at best, a minor contributor to Python's classic sketches. I hadn't heard of Alverson before, but according to the amazon site, he is largely the compiler of out-of-print joke books.
Whereas 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' contains many sketches (e.g. the autonomous collective peasants scene and the witch scene), there is nothing here that could stand on its own as a sketch. There are many amusing moments in 'Jabberwocky', but nothing that builds up, through Python's relentless pursuit of the logic of the ridiculous, into a self-contained sketch. Where the script tries to imitate the Python style -- e.g. the king's decision to kill the herald -- it often falls flat, or at best elicits a mild chuckle.
Watch this for its atmosphere, for the much-improved sound quality, for the strength of the supporting cast (e.g. John Bird and Graham Crowden in minor roles) and for its pointers to Gilliam's future directorial career. Just don't expect the humour to be at Python's level.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Feb 2014 08:14:00 GMT
Thanks heavens. Someone agrees with me. I posted a review criticising this film and from the hateful response I received you'd think I'd stamped on a live puppy! Jabberwocky is awful, I wanted to like it but hated it. I wish some people wouldn't let nostalgia cloud their judgement. I agree with your review 100%.
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