For those who think political satire is dead, check this out. This movie is Yes Minister for a new generation. One can’t also help but think that they’ve seen the Australian ABC TV show ‘The Hollowmen’ as well. They are a hair’s breath away from each other. At the end of the day though, that really is inconsequential, because this is an amazing movie in its own right. In the Loop brings political satire into the modern age of Conservative US/British politics via the Gulf War (the current one) and how ministers and mingling US back benchers all are so fervently trying to tone down talk of war, they almost start one.
I’d tell you more about the plot, but it’s not really that important to why I enjoyed it. Maybe it hits a raw nerve for me. This movie portrays generation Ys as ambivalent morons with no conscience, in a society where OHS rules don’t guarantee fair treatment or fair play; the Scots are the underlords keeping politics in check with a filthy tongue and an iron fist and the Americans are cringe-worthy in their conservative self righteous bland-ness. Whereas the English, as always, are bumbling and polite as always. In other words, it was written for pommy in-greats like me! All second-guessing their way through what would be a political thriller if any one of the main characters had a clue what’s going on!
If nothing else, you get a cameo from Steve Coogan (of Alan Partridge Presents and Saxondale fame) as an Irate constituent. For Sopranos fans, there’s also James Gandolfini playing an American army general, who’s become a git gun shy with age. Truth be known, there’s no dead wood in this movie. It would almost even work as a stage production. The two senior UK media advisers (both Scots) are like UK Ari Golds with their demeaning and chauvinistic one liners.
A character that really grabbed me was Toby Wright (played by Chris Addison). This guy is central to my earlier Gen Y comment and is a media adviser to a new British government minister. Yet a weak gust of wind would change his opinion on any subject you cared to mention – oh and his commitment. He really nailed what’s wrong with politics in general when a guy like this can even get a Guernsey in politics, let alone a job packing boxes.
For those of you who are politically savvy and like a bit of dark British satire, check it out. You won’t be disappointed. I sincerely hope though in January that this isn’t the best movie I see all year.