Malcolm Tucker is an angry man.
Simon Foster, the minister of international development, has accidentally backed a US war in the middle east after sounding off about the diarrhoea problem in the Third World on national radio and Tucker knows it’s up to him, as the Prime Minister’s top spin-whiz, to manage the fallout.
So begins ‘In The Loop’, a political satire and spiritual follow-up to BBC comedy show, ‘The Thick Of It’, which reunites writer/director Armando Iannucci with familiar cast members and characters from the six television episodes shown back in 2005.
This BAFTA winning series, from the creators of ‘The Day Today’ and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge’, followed the hapless endeavours of a group of clueless cabinet officials at the mercy of ‘Doctor’ Tucker and his unstoppable tirade of verbal abuse – think ‘Blackadder’ with swearing meets ‘Yes, Minister’ updated with the mockumentary style of ‘The Office’ and you’re about halfway there.
While the plot herein is fairly gripping with its political agenda pogoing and bureaucratic bullshit, it’s still the creativeness of the cursing that takes centre-stage. Peter Capaldi provides much of the momentum with his monstrously black performance, but the relocation of the drama to Washington DC – and later, New York – gives fellow role-repriser, Chris Addison, ample room to rise above Tucker-foilery, with a truly remarkable attempt at talking his way out of an exposed fling with US government intern, Anna (yes her out of ‘My Girl’) Chlumsky.
Further ‘bulking’ out the film’s transatlantic kudos, is James ‘Tony Soprano’ Gandolfini, who plays a US general actually AGAINST the war and a delightfully down-to-earth cameo from Steve Coogan as a Northamptonshire constituent upset with a wall about to fall on his mother’s conservatory.
This isn’t the first time the goings on at Whitehall and beyond have made for decent comedy material, but it’s by far the most offensive. Here’s to the 10 minute + marathon of Tucker profanities on YouTube.
Until then, as the great man himself would say, ‘fuckety bye!’
In The Loop is in cinemas April 17