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- Check out The Audacity of Hype, the hilariously scathing book by In the Loop scriptwriter Armando Iannucci (plus video and an exclusive message).
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In The Loop [DVD]
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Armando Iannucci co-writes and directs this feature comedy - a big-screen spin-off of the BBC series 'In the Thick of It' - satirising the inner workings of British and American politics as the powers-that-be attempt to 'sell' the deeply unpopular Iraq invasion to the public on both sides of the Atlantic. When British Minister of International Development (Tom Hollander) puts his foot in his mouth by announcing on national television that 'war is unforeseeable', the British government is sent into a spiral of chaos and spin propagated by the verbally aggressive Director of Communications, Malcom Tucker (Peter Capaldi). Foster soon finds himself bundled off to Washington on a fact-finding mission - where, in his naivety, he becomes the pawn of the Pentagon's General Miller (James Gandolfini) and Assistant Secretary of Diplomacy (Mimi Kennedy) in their mission to do their not-very-best to stop the war happening.
One of the finest British comedies of the decade, In The Loop takes the genius of the small screen hit The Thick Of It, and fleshes it out into a blisteringly funny feature-length movie.
Written and directed by Armando Ianucci, the film basically follows a plan between the American President and the British Prime Minister to begin a war, and spin it to their advantage. Naturally, not everyone is so keen on the plan, and the problems arise when Simon Foster, the Minister for International Development, declares that a war isn’t foreseeable, a statement that soon gets seized upon. Then In The Loop deploys its not-so-secret weapon, as enter stage left comes the tour-de-force that is spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.
The character of Tucker will be familiar to fans of The Thick Of It, and here, he’s the absolute high point of a film packed with great moments. Foul-mouthed, vitriolic and a majestic comedy creation, much has been written in the past about Tucker’s similarities with Alastair Campbell. The parallels are startling, but it’s in Peter Capaldi’s outstanding portrayal of him that Tucker becomes the force of nature he is here.
Bolstered by an intelligent and incisive script, In The Loop is both an outstanding comedy and a first-rate satire, that only loses its momentum slightly in its final act. Yet by that stage, it’s more than justified both your expense and your time, and it’s virtually guaranteed to stay resident on many people’s rewatch pile too. One of the finest films of 2009. --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
On the eve of `a war' in the Middle East, Minister for International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) accidentally states that war is "unforeseeable". This ambiguous statement is seized upon by both the hawks and doves in Washington, with each seeing Foster as their poster boy. On hand to clean up the...mess, is the Prime Minister's spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi).
In The Loop is effectively a stretched out version of Iannucci's award winning television series The Thick of It., but one of the only characters linking the two is Peter Capaldi's ferocious government spin doctor Malcolm Tucker. Loosely based on Alastair Campbell, who claims Tucker is nothing like him (the gentlemen doth protest too much methinks), Capaldi's is an absolute joy to watch, as he spits fury at the bumbling government officials, both elected and unelected. Roughly every third word which comes from Tucker's mouth is a word you'd never use around your mother, but the writing is so intelligent, that it's impossible not to laugh as he spits fury.
Despite portraying Her Majesty's government as blundering fools, the rest of the British cast put in strong performances.Read more ›
Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky and Paul Higgins are the stars as the PM's Spin Doctor Malcolm Tucker, General Miller, Liza Weld and Jamie McDonald.
The film isn't a laugh-a-minute special; you have to be able to see between the lines and understand the slyness that occurs regularly throughout, though the more abrupt moments do bring about some bellyaching laughs. In The Loop is very much like an extended, international version of an episode of 'The Thick Of It'; there isn't a killer ending to the film which may give the viewer a feeling that the finish is quite blunt yet slow coming.
Contrary to the protests of professional politicians, you very much get the impression that the film nails the sleaze within politics and just how much the public is allowed to know, as well as just how desperate people can be to climb to the political landscape.
If you are a fan of 'The Thick Of It', this is a must-buy. If you're not aware of the series or just haven't seen it, or are simply knowledgeable of politics, then again I would recommend buying it as you will probably enjoy the satire on show and will want to explore the series further.
Oh, and expect swearing, ;-)
It's a great comedy, and if you enjoyed "The Thick of It" series then I fully recommend this big-budget spin-off!
Photography/visual style: 6/10
In the Loop may be Armando Iannucci's first film as a director, but it is built on over 20 years of experience in caustic satire. He began working with the likes of Chris Morris, Charlie Brooker, Steve Coogan and Stewart Lee in the early 90s on TV series The Day Today and Brasseye. More recently, his primary work has been on TV's The Thick Of It. They may deny it, but In the Loop is basically a movie spin-off of this series.
Drawn from The Thick Of It are foul-mouthed spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), one of the more vibrant creations of British television in the last decade, and young speech-writer Toby Wright, played by Chris Addison. They journey to America with new character MP Simon Foster (Tom Hollander), after he accidentally aligns himself with one side in the covert campaigns to initiate a war with a Middle Eastern country. It's a fairly naked parody of the build-up to the 2003 War in Iraq.
The underlying theme is about the difference between the confident and the hesitant. While those with the assertiveness and charisma to press forward their plans control major world events, the rest of us are left to fight over the scraps. Many characters in In the Loop have a great line in dry wit, until they are put under pressure or scrutiny, at which point their intelligence hilariously collapses.
A great cast of remarkably versatile actors like Hollander, Capaldi and the late lamented James Gandolfini deliver the lines brilliantly, be they sharply witty or bumblingly hilarious.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hilarious. Roller Coaster Ride of comedy - not a dull moment. Excellent casting.
David Rasche and Peter Capaldi are really excellent. Read more
Chortlesome comedy drama from permanent flavour of the month Ianucci.Published 3 months ago by Dan Smith
Really enjoyed it - although newcomers may want to watch the first 2 seasons of The Thick of It first.Published 4 months ago by Mr T
How on earth this film managed to acquire superlative reviews I'll never know. After 10 minutes scrolling through it, I did the best thing; binned it.Published 4 months ago by paul attard retired in Basque country