Dad’s Army

Director: Oliver Parker (2016)

Don’t panic! Fans of the veteran TV series can stand at ease and enjoy this big screen adaption of the second world war sitcom.

It generally succeeds in it’s mild ambitions of providing charming entertainment and gentle laughs.

The director describes it as a celebration of the long running show and in respectful fashion the semi-skimmed sauce of the picture postcard humour is never crude or cruel.

Set in early 1944, the Daily Telegraph reading Nazi high rank send a spy codenamed Cobra, into Blighty.

Meanwhile the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard, led by the pompous Captain Mainwaring and the diffident Sergeant Wilson, are thoroughly unprepared.

Toby Jones and Bill Nighy step into the boots of beloved actors Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier to breathe new life into the roles.

The top rank cast are hummed into action by the familiar theme tune alongside Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon as Lance Corporal Jones and Private Godfrey.

Privates Pike, Walker and Frazer are also present and correct.

Catherine Zeta-Jones appears as glamorous journalist Rose Winters, who wants to write a story about the platoon.

Rose captivates the men which upsets their wives, resulting a fresh outbreak of hostilities in the battle of the sexes.

Action is always just out of reach for the men, who’s sense of masculinity has already been blitzed by being unable to fight overseas with the real troops.

But as chaos predictably ensues, the opportunity arises to earn their spurs in combat.

This is as much a celebration of British nature as anything else. So there’s snobbery, curtain twitching gossips and men acting like schoolboys.

But there’s also loyalty, bravery, friendship, good humoured amateurism and a determination to does one’s bit for the greater good.

Dad’s Army is such a peculiarly British institution it would be unpatriotic not to salute as it marches on.

 

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