REVIEW: In the Loop

28 06 2010

I feel like I should be littering F-bombs throughout this review to keep with the tone of “In the Loop,” a movie where every other word literally was a profane one. But the language isn’t just thrown around indiscriminately. This movie is probably the best thing to happen to the F-word since its invention. Peter Capaldi and the screenwriters use it in such inventive and hilarious ways, none of which are all that irreverent.

But beyond all the profanity, there’s so much more that the Academy Award-nominated script of “In the Loop” has to offer. It’s a brilliant satire of an organization everyone loves to roast – the government. The movie shows politicians struggling over doing what is best for the country or doing what is best for their own interests. Everyone is struggling with this inner conflict, and it ultimately pushes the Britain and the United States towards a military conflict that no one really wants.

We see all sorts of government officials, from elected officials to their advisors to the interns toiling away below them. After Britain’s Minister for Internal Development Simon Foster calls war “unforeseeable,” the fiasco begins.  And once that one word flies, everyone from the Pentagon to the state department in America to Britain’s Foreign Office and Internal Devlopment is involved in a war of words.

Of the countless generals and government officials, my favorite tiny storyline was the rivalry between two twenty-something American aides, played by Anna Chlumsky and Zach Woods, both intent on destroying the other.  The Academy Award-nominated script has all the key aspects of a great screenplay: engaging dialogue to keep a well-organized plot moving. The plot shapers tie together all these plot lines in a very interesting way, although it gets a little exhausting to watch by the time the movie is over.

But the movie’s star is Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouthed enforcer Malcolm Tucker, who has a new obscenity for every time he opens his mouth. No matter what you think of the movie as a whole, it’s pretty hard not to enjoy Tucker. His unabashed speaking of his mind always makes for a good laugh, and his shameless dialogue enables his fellow actors to have their own hilarious moments by calling him out on his excessive profanity. Really, it’s Capaldi’s foul-mouthed antics that make “In the Loop” fun to watch; the satire takes a thought-provoking backseat.  B+ /





Random Factoid #313

6 06 2010

Another “just my luck” factoid.

I’ve been waiting since February for “In the Loop” to come from the Houston Library for me. It’s been on my hold list, and I’ve left it on there and held off on putting holds on other movies.

But last night, while flipping through the channels, I noticed “In the Loop” was playing on Showtime. All that time I’ve spent waiting only for it to come on TV right as I’m at the front of the line to get it.

I feel like I’m in a “Seinfeld” episode or something.