In The Loop: Movie Review
Cast: Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander, Anna
Chlumsky, Chris Addison
Director: Armando Iannucci
A riotous hit at the New Zealand Film Festival, In The Loop finally arrives
on the wider circuit.
A spin off from the critically acclaimed The Thick Of It, it's a tale of
politics, foul mouths and hilarious misunderstandings with global
With the British Prime Minister and US president looking to go to war, there
are the inevitable political splits - and the situation is made much worse by
Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster (Tom
His comment that war is "unforeseeable" during an interview is picked up -
and suddenly the entire world appears to be going to hell in a handcart.
Only to make matters worse, the UK's chief spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (a
stunning bilious performance from Peter Capaldi whose anger seems to push him
close to a stroke) latches onto Foster as he tries to limit the damage
In The Loop is a dizzying, hedonistic trip through the corridors of
It's about British politics and the satire - and takes in Washington politics
It's fast paced, intelligent, frenetic and full of endlessly quotable F word
moments - Iannucci shows why he's the king of UK satire as he lampoons the
reality of life behind the political curtain.
With a top notch ensemble cast, In The Loop is full of quality performances -
but one simply towers above the rest.
It's quite simply Peter Capaldi's film - his turn as spin doctor Malcolm
Tucker defies description - from the first moments when he tells Foster's new
intern to go away in no uncertain terms, it's clear he's not a man who minces
But if it's Tucker's tirades which are the lasting memory of the film, you
soon realize that the plot (such as it is) feels little more than a long drawn
out episode of The Thick Of It (which if you've not seen when it was on TV ONE then
I suggest you seek out the DVDs immediately)
That's not necessarily a bad thing but Iannucci almost paints himself into a
corner with his story and there are lulls throughout.
However, thanks to the juxtaposition of an impending global war and the
absurdity of constituency politics, he's able to weave a tableaux which is fun,
frantic and requires a certain level of intelligence to follow.
In The Loop is a vicious satire and a very funny expression of politics as
well as the levels it's played on - from the very top to the very bottom with
You have to wonder how close to reality and truth this actually it is - and
if it is, we're all in serious trouble.