Director: Oliver Parker Cast: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson
Following on from the hugely successful TV series of the 1960s and 70s, new actors take on the roles of Captain Mainwaring and the Home Guard of Walmington-On-Sea during the Second World War. The film is not a remake, but a new story: the group are informed that a German spy has arrived in the town, and in their usual haphazard way they find out who it is and take on an impending German invasion.
While I was not even close to being alive when the series originally aired, Dad’s Army was (and still is) a pretty much permanent fixture of the Saturday night TV schedule as I was growing up, and it’s one of my favourite TV shows. I had set my expectations low for this film, as there was no way it would live up to the original. But I have to say it did a pretty good job. While it was obviously was not the same as the old classics, it had the same kind of jokes and most of the actors did well to sound like and even adopt the mannerisms of the original characters. Toby Jones I thought sounded almost exactly like the original Captain Mainwaring, and delivered his lines in the same way. The only character I would say I was disappointed with was Tom Courtenay as Jones, who wasn’t really that similar to the original- a particular shame as Jones is my favourite character.
The plot was pretty rubbish but the film was still clever in its humour, with some hilarious one liners as well as some intelligent subtle laughs just like the old TV show. It’s by no means an absolute classic but I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the rest of the audience I was in the cinema with as evidenced by their raucous laughter. Those who have never seen or didn’t enjoy the original series (if that type of person exists) probably wouldn’t really get it, but I think for fans of the series it’s worth a watch.