Dad’s Army, a wonderfully witty remake of the beloved BBC TV series about the activities of the British Home Guard during World War II which ran from 1968 to 1977, has marched into theatres, to the delight fans of the classic comedy. Honouring the original series while at the same time somewhat modernising the tale, director Oliver Parker delivers a fun and nostalgic remake detailing the platoon’s many misadventures.
Set in the sleepy seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea in 1944, commencing after the events which are depicted in the series, we see how the hotchpotch members of the Home Guard deal with a German spy, and, even more terrifying, a visiting female journalist. The stellar cast include Bill Nighy as the sarcastic Sergeant Wilson, Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison as Private Pike, Michael Gambon as a dithering Private Godfrey, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as glamourous journalist Rose Winters. With such a capable cast, there was never really any doubt about Dad’s Army being victorious.
Full of playfully comic scenes, such as when the men are faced with a fiercely formidable enemy, one that will require all of their military might to defeat – a stray bull, from which a local famer rescues them; or when, during camouflage practice, Godfrey relieves himself against a tree only for the tree to yell in shock as it turns out to be one of his fellow soldiers whose tree disguise was a bit too convincing. Then, when the men are recruited to apprehend a German spy, Captain Mainwaring declares “this is our chance to play a real part in the war”, to which his men flap about witlessly. Oh, dear.
Brimming with the old series’ winning style of slapstick comedy, this charming movie is purely good fun, and, even though the writing is rather hackneyed at times, that can be forgiven as it is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud. Brilliant performances from the whole cast, most notably a highly witty Bill Nighy, Dad’s Army is amusing and lively throughout, and will not disappoint those seeking a hearty chuckle.