Thursday, July 23, 2009
In the Loop - Movie Review
I saw a screening last night of the movie, In the Loop, in advance of its U.S. opening on Friday. It has already opened in the UK. I loved it! It is smart, very funny, cynical and very, very profane.
Set in Washington and London, it's a behind the scenes look that the bureaucratic machinations when two governments are scheming to go to war. It is clearly inspired by the run up to the war in Iraq and some of the incidents depicted will be very familiar to those paying attention to the maneuvers that were engaged to build the case for war in 2002 and 2003.
It is a dark comedy and the characters are larger than life. Peter Capaldi, apparently Scottish by his accent, is one of the great political characters I've ever seen in a movie. I've never heard of him before this movie, but I'll never forget him now. He is belligerent and arrogant and utters the most colorful curses you will ever have heard. James Gandolfini makes you forget, to some degree, about Tony Soprano, playing a tough general trying to avoid war. And, finally, there is Tom Hollender, playing the wimpy, cowardly British minister at the center of the action.
The script is brilliant and look for collections of the best quotes from the movie. It reminded me a bit of Yes, Prime Minister on steroids. And it moves so fast, I'm already anxious to see it again to catch some of the lines I might have missed.
Sadly, I don't expect the movie to be a massive hit. It doesn't seem to have the ingredients for wide popular appeal. For instance, there are no heroes. Everyone is either clueless or corrupt or both. But I do expect it to become a cult classic, particularly among political junkies.
Next year, at this time, I imagine there will be packed midnight shows in London and Washington.