Film review: Dad’s Army (3 out of 5)

Dad's Army SUS-160502-143921001

Dad's Army SUS-160502-143921001

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There were plenty of eyebrows raised when it was announced that a new film based on the massively popular and iconic TV series Dad’s Army would be created.

The main question really was - why do it?

The TV series ran for 80 episodes from 1968 to 1977 and spawned a decent enough movie (1971) with most of the original cast.

So, nearly 40 years later, why resurrect the characters?

Well the result is a decent attempt at creating the feel of the old Dad’s Army programmes with some very funny moments and a particularly good performance by Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring.

The story is set towards the end of the war with Germany desperate to discover what the Allied Forces’ invasion plans are.

Mainwaring’s Home Guard are faced with the tough tasks of dealing with tracking down a German spy and coping with a beautiful journalist who is a femme fatale for several of the squad.

There were some elements of the TV series that were set in stone (eg you never saw Mrs Mainwaring; was Pike the son of Sergeant Wilson?). However these are ignored which is a shame and will annoy the purists.

There are some great comic moments, though, and even a touch of Carry On... type dialogue that raises some laughs.

Plus, the remaining original cast members get cameo roles.

It’s a bit strange watching actors pretend to be actors pretending to be wartime characters but it’s a case of trying to put that to one side.

Tom Courtenay as Lance Corporal Jones and Michael Gambon as Private Godfrey are clearly having a great time and Bill Nighy slots into the Wilson role with ease.

The simple fact, though, is that the original Dad’s Army can’t be copied but this film makes a good stab at an impossible mission and is an entertaining enough movie.

Film details: Dad’s Army (PG) 100mins

Director: Oliver Parker

Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Nighy, Toby Jones

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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