Thursday, 18 February 2016
Dad's Army (2 Stars)
When this film was announced, a big budget remake of the vintage British TV series, most of my friends groaned. They said that it would be awful and sully the memory of a great British sitcom. I was more positive. I looked at the advance posters and I was impressed by the similarity between the new actors and the original cast. I defended the remake. I told my friends that they shouldn't expect anything new, just a piece of nostalgia.
I should have listened to my friends. I realised within the first 15 minutes that something was wrong, and it was easy to see what it was. The nostalgia was missing. There was a team of competent lookalikes, all of them good actors, but the spirit of the original was missing. The film is obviously pitched at people who know the original series, because none of the characters are introduced. It's assumed from the beginning that we know who's who, which was certainly the case for me.
The film would have been better if it had been bold enough to imitate the original series even more, in fact the screenwriters should have plagiarised the original, pulling scenes out of individual episodes to make people laugh. The film that I saw today didn't make me laugh.
The most positive thing in the film is Catherine Zeta-Jones as the alluring Nazi spy Rose Winters. Her sex appeal is subtle and understated. She's a splash of colour in the drab wartime coastal town, Walmington-on-Sea. The old men in the home guard are excited when they get a glimpse of her knee, and they turn to jelly when she flatters them. That's quaint. Only the women in the town can see through her wiles. However, she isn't enough to save the film. It's an all-round poor effort.