I’m a fan of old British sitcoms, yet I never really saw much of Dad’s Army. It was always there, countless re-runs on the TV but apart from understanding the references and knowing the characters, I never sat down to watch it properly.
I don’t need to and shouldn’t have to, have watched the classic sitcom to fully understand the Film, good or not. As it happens, this new adaptation isn’t particularly good for fans of the series or not. It’s a bit of a damp squib, not particularly funny and generally cashing in on nostalgia, whilst only making a few upgrades on the original.
The comedy is broad, more about harking back instead of crafting witty jokes and the cringeworthy nature of every man drooling over Catherine Zeta Jone’s journalist is ridiculous and unnecessary, yet the Film spends most of its running time devoted to this. Why must you have all the men abandon their wives in hopes of stealing a moment with the beautiful women, it’s insulting and annoying especially considering some of the age gaps.
Then there’s far too much plot going on and the jokes fall by the wayside. From the beginning, it’s obvious who the spy is and it makes for a tension-less Film. The only good humour comes from the performances and none from the writing.
From the beginning stages of pre-production, it was clear that this was the best casting imaginable. Alex Johnson should be singled out and praised for getting the best actors for the job. Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison and Tom Courtenay are all perfect choices for their characters, effortlessly bringing the characters back to life again.
The other stroke of genius is in filling out every other role, apart from the male characters from the original, with women. Mum’s Army as it has been called is filled with recognisable faces, and whilst they may all be wives, girlfriends and sisters, they are also just as funny and ‘doing their part’ as the men.
Other than excellent casting, the Film is a disappointment. It’s got no particularly good music, cinematography or direction and the plot is predictable and aggravating. The only saving graces are the excellent, note-perfect performances from the cast that in the right light, could be the original characters themselves.