VOD film review: Dad’s Army
Nigel Farage's review7
How brilliant life seems while watching it0
Ian Loring | On 12, Jun 2016
Director: Oliver Parker
Cast: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Watch Dad’s Army online in the UK: Netflix UK / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Rakuten TV / Google Play
The grey pound has grown in significance in recent years, but Dad’s Army getting a big-screen remake is a reminder that time is coming for us all. Those who watched the TV show all those years ago? Many of them are very likely no longer with us. Those who watched it with their parents or relatives? The halcyon days of yore are behind them, now dealing with mortgages, pension planning and hoping their children do better than they managed to. People too young for it now? Probably Snapchatting each other and wondering if the Titanic was real. Dad’s Army may ostensibly be a comedy, but goodness is watching the thing depressing.
If you are of the target age demographic of Dad’s Army, expect to feel insulted. Taking the original cast of characters and making them spend 90 minutes either making jokes about bladder control or chasing after Catherine Zeta-Jones (who looks so insanely bored as journalist Rose Winters you actually feel sorry for her), you must wonder what the film-makers actually think of the show’s fans. It’s not exactly lowest common denominator fare, but it’s so bland, so bereft of anything approaching invention, and so wasteful of the talent within it that you’ll feel angry as well as depressed.
Toby Jones tries his hardest to create a character who is sympathetic, while also blatantly trying to cheat on his wife. Bill Nighy does nothing but play Bill Nighy in Love Actually but without the ability to swear. Michael Gambon turns up in a Hawaiian dress and plays a character who should be taken into care instead of being laughed at.
Director Oliver Parker’s anti-cinematic ambition is almost to be admired. Action sequences revolve around an insanely slow bull and a climax – on what looks to be an area of coast used for sewage waste – in which a car blows up. With the money the cast must have asked for to appear in this, it is little surprise it looks like the whole thing was made on broken promises and Nigel Farage’s farts alone.
This is mild comedy for those on the right-wing. A jingoistic, patronising, rose-tinted look back at a time that, let’s face it, was not exactly fun to live through. If you enjoy existential dread, depression and fits of anger while watching a comedy, this dire remake is perfection.
Dad’s Army is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.