In The Loop (2009)

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The Americans fancy another war, so backroom spin doctor Peter Capaldi sets about making sure that his British ministers toe the party line in the name of our “special relationship”.

In The Loop is basically a big screen version of British political satire The Thick Of It but incredibly it manages to keep the essence of the show, no doubt at the cost of any semblance of box office receipts. Incredibly dark and witty, Armando Iannucci and Capaldi have managed to create a character that will become the stuff of comedy legend. His foul-mouthed tirades against his quaking subordinates are as hilarious as they are excruciating and uses the kind of creative obscenities that we haven’t seen the like of since Withnail & I. It also has the blend of political nightmare combined with absurdity that made it feel like the Dr. Strangelove of our times and has the kind of sharp wit and sophisticated dialogue of Thank You For Smoking. James Gandolfini is also the perfect casting choice as the US general who gives as good as he gets and the cast as a whole are pretty much flawless. The fact that the entire story is told in words rather than explosions and car chases means that 90% of its potential audience will no doubt switch off straight away, but anyone with two brain cells to rub together simply must see this.

The one drawback is that once the credits roll and the laughter dies away, you get the hollowing feeling that this really is how wars begin. F-star-star-star-ing genius!

8.5/10

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