Dear fellow blog readers, I have a confession to make.
I have finally had a chance to see the new Dad’s Army film. In a world where all we hear about these days is of sitcom revivals and remakes, I have to admit due to the way the film has been perceived in the press ever since the reboot was announced. I was neither outraged that they were remaking it, nor was I excited.
I went into the cinema trying to convince myself that I had an open mind about the film. It had a bloody fantastic cast, it was a comedy and it was set in the Second World War. So all in all it had the ingredients to be a film that would win me over. Still I was convinced it would complete and utter rubbish.
I had avoided the trailer mainly because I had told myself that the all star cast were just playing the characters exactly how they had been played in the classic TV series.
During the first five minutes of the film I was sure as sure that my preconceptions of the film were right. However I could not resist being won over to the little homage of the TV Show’s opening titles as the film found its way. I don’t want to say too much in case you haven’t seen it yet but it was a wonderful tribute and I think everyone was expecting those famous arrows and theme song to play across the silver screen.
As daft as it sounds I actually didn’t think there would be much of a plot to this film. I was expecting the Walmington- on- Sea platoon to basically spend the whole hour and forty minutes blundering about in fields, which they did to begin with.
But there was actually a rather decent, albeit predictable plot (but hey that’s one of the reasons we love sitcoms right?).
My favourite part of the film was the fact there was so much more scope and opportunities for the women of the programme. Again I wasn’t expecting Elizabeth Mainwaring to make an appearance as we had a repeat of the classic air raid shelter scene. But it was so lovely to actually have a face to put to the Captain’s wife. Felicity Montagu brought her to life splendidly.
As a huge fan of Alison Steadman it was lovely to see her as Mrs Fox, she was fantastic as always. I am not a huge fan of Catherine Zeta Jones but she really did bring everything and more to the role of Rose Winters, and brought some much needed glamour to Walmington-on-Sea. It was also nice to see a lot more of Dolly and Cissy Godfrey who had a rather nice little say in how the plot played out.
But and I think you all know where I am going, in terms of the female roles it was Sarah Lancashire as Mrs Pike who really stole the film. I am not a huge fan of the TV version of Mrs Pike I find her too annoying and insufferable but Sarah Lancashire gave her warmth and you really understood the love between her and Sergeant Wilson. She and Billy Nighy’s scenes really were something special. Who incidentally made Wilson a lot more likeable for me than an not as much of an arse as I can find him when I watch the TV series.
So in my humble opinion, how did it compare with the TV series we all hold dear in our hearts? Well firstly I was rather impressed how the cast did not completely emulate what had gone before. While each character gave little nods to the familiar traits we all associate with them- they all brought something new too. I was most worries about how Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon would play Jones and Godfrey respectively as they are my favourite characters. But I was impressed as while we had the mutterings of “they don’t like it up ‘em” and “don’t panic” as well as tales of Godfrey’s sisters, we also had a bit more depth to the characters.
While we sort of knew exactly what we were going to get with wheeler dealer and loveable rouge Walker, Daniel Mays did it in the exact way one was expecting and it was brilliant. The same can be said of Blake Harrison who played Pike. It was also lovely to see the remaining surviving cast Ian Lavender and Frank Williams popping up for little cameos too.
So if you asked me do I think it was worth going to see Dad’s Army the film what would I say? I say go for it. Don’t panic as it still conveys strong elements of that wonderful programme and gave frequent nods to its predecessor but there is enough fresh material and an original story to make it enjoyable to new and old fans alike. With plenty of laughs along the way.
It is so worth going sitting through the whole thing just for the last few minutes which were just perfect. In fact I am, as I write this persuading my mum to go and see it and let me go with her just for the last little bit as it made me feel like I was a fool ever to think there was no point in going to see this film!