Monday, 16 July 2012

Jackboots on Whitehall Commentary

Oh, the things you can find when you don't know what you want to watch so you're flipping around Netflix.  When I saw the description for this and the running time, I knew it was destined to be.  It's an alternate reality where the Dunkirk evacuation failed and Britain was left helpless to a German invasion.  The Germans inevitably invade and a small band of English farmers, Punjabi Guard, an American and Winston Churchill try to find a way to beat back the invaders.  Sounds great, doesn't it.  And it doesn't disappoint.

It would have been easy to turn this into a dark, almost post-apocalyptic piece.  But, instead, they make it comical in a way that only the English can.  There are the obvious, no holds barred, jabs at the Germans with Rommel, Goebbels and Goering being portrayed as a Larry, Moe and Curly type of triumvirate.  And the German jabs keep coming.  But what I really like is that there is no ethnic group that is safe from the stereotypical humour (and that makes it great satire).  The American is a "balls to the wall" moron.  The English farmers are farting morons, the Scottish are stuck in the time of William Wallace and Winston Churchill is just a doddering old man wanting his pension.

The superior level of satire is very reminiscent of Team America (another great movie).  This is compounded by the fact that they use stop motion and puppetry for the film rather than live action.  That was a fantastic choice because it adds to the lunacy and allows them to easily do violent, war actions without making the audience cringe.  It's dolls, so who cares?  It keeps the viewer from taking it seriously and adds to the humour.  Because it's a British movie, it feels a bit more refined and high brow than Team America but oddly still pedestrian and crude.  It's a style of humour that only the British can do.

From the start, I laughed all the way through.  The comedy is spaced very well and they don't let it drag on; something that is easy to do in a satire.  Definitely see it.

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