The nature of this film’s release has irritated me for some time, primarily due to the absence of demand for production. There has been no public outcry like over the making of The Force Awakens nor has there been any call for a remake like with The X-Files. It seems to exist simply because it hasn’t been rebooted yet.
Dad’s Army sees the classic ensemble of characters, led by Toby Jones’ Captain Mainwaring, hunting for a German spy operating in their quaint coastal town hoping to finally contribute a part to winning the war. Ensemble really is the key word with the marketing for the film having revolved almost completely around reputable actors which speaks volumes about the film before its even been released.
The filmmakers seem to have only played to the strengths of the cast, which is done very well, however Dad’s Army should sell itself on just being Dad’s Army. The original show has stood the test of time as being humorous and an icon of British pop culture and what has been produced is not a Dad’s Army film; rather one where the characters have become the version of whichever actor has been cast to play them. Instead of Captain Mainwaring, what we see is Toby Jones’ version of Captain Mainwaring.
The humour itself doesn’t reflect the source material, or even the time in which the film is set. What the audience is left with is a modern all-star comedy taking place during World War Two with much of the classic physical comedy and charm replaced with cheap slapstick and pale imitations of gags from the show.
However, credit where it’s due, there were a few moments that were genuinely funny and one or two that had the audience roaring with laughter. But the problem is that this should have been at parts drawn from the source material leaving the question of whether or not the filmmakers should have just made a good WWII comedy with some drama and characters with emotional depth instead of a poor Dad’s Army film with badly impersonated characters.
Image: Matt Tilke; Flickr.com