Thursday, October 15, 2009



This film had about as little marketing a film these days can have. When I was invited to tag along to see it I still had never heard of it, and we are talking about me!

In the Loop is a fictional story about the events leading up to the US incursion into Iraq. The story features a young British politician named Simon Foster who puts himself into the middle of the "should we invade or not" debate by publicly making comments on a radio show. This brings on the quick witted and foul mouthed Malcolm Tucker who is a British communications director to reprimand Foster and prevent similar comments coming out of his mouth.

As the conflict debate heats up Foster and Tucker make their way over to America to sit in on war delegation committees and meet with American politicians and warmongers. Though this film is fictional it is scary to see the way the hierarchy in both government's discuss this impending conflict and cut corners to make things work their way.

The film was well acted and had several performances that commanded attention each and every time their face was featured on the screen. The best performance was definitely by Peter Capaldi who played Malcolm Tucker, the man who will make viewers burst with laughter from his long and cuss filled speeches.

Simon Foster is a soft spoken but good intentioned politician played by Tom Hollander who some may remember him from his role of Lord Beckett in Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Hollander definitely was impressive in his role trying to defend his view points on big stages and keeping his sanity working with the unfriendly Tucker.The film also stars James Gandolfini as an anti-war American Lt. General.

In the Loop was a dialogue-fest that plays out the entire 106 minute duration. Honestly, the movie did not feel like it was too long or like it was getting boring with all the talking. The dialogue is so intriguing and at times hilarious it kept me interested in not only what would happen next, but what insult or funny thing would be said next.

The movie did however stray away from the main plot (the Iraq conflict) and started to try and develop a few of the numerous characters featured in this film. The whole movie is spent on the story and then last minute the writers try and highlight the characters lives. Though I felt the movie could have used some character development, since it had almost zero the whole movie, and the script would have been more solid without any.

Armando Iannucci is the director of the TV series this movie is based off of called "In the Thick of It." Armando needed to realize he wasn't filming a TV show anymore, and he was definitely not filming an episode of  "The Office." The film could have befitted from more  of a feature film format and less of a documentary style. The camera work was hard to watch and seemed novice with fast zooms and focuses on top of shaky footage.

Overall, a good movie for people who like to sit and digest dialogue from interesting, profane, and important characters. This movie is definitely not for everyone, and if you can't handle a movie with nothing but talking In the Loop is not for you. Anyone willing to give any film a chance should check out In the Loop for its intriguing take on the proceedings to the Iraq conflict with the addition of some of the funniest dialogue I have heard in years (I was laughing out loud quite a bit). Worth a $5 showing or a rental.


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