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In The Loop

in-the-loop-good-2009-comedy-nr“In the Loop” is a 2009 black comedy film that has some of the best quotes and one-liners out of any movie I have ever seen. I don’t know if it’s an amazing movie, or if all British humour is just this good. One thing I know for certain is that after “In the Loop”, I am going to be checking out “The Thick of It”, which is the TV show that the movie is based off of.
“In the Loop” is a political satire which takes place before the Iraq war, and shows the inner-workings of political bigwigs and smallwigs as they parry and maneuver behind the scenes either for or against going to war in the Middle East. I pray that this satire does not hit too close to home, as the characters are like giant, cunning children who care only for themselves. Of course, I have seen politicians do more scandalous things than even in this movie, so sometimes life is a little stranger than fiction.

Tom Hallonder as Simon Hoster and Chris Addison as Toby.
Our hapless duo, in way over their heads

“In the Loop” follows Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) who lets slip a rather non-neutral comment in a routine BBC interview, stating that war is unforeseeable. Things keep going downhill whenever Simon opens his mouth, and Simon’s new aide Toby (Chris Addison) is even more useless and out of his league than Simon as the two try frantically to deal with the situation, becoming everyone and anyone’s pawn along the way. The two seem to sink deeper and deeper into the political quagmire, and they were already in over their heads to begin with it. Unfortunately for them, others in the political game are not quite so naive and bumbling, and they soon have the hound of out hell Malcom Tucker (Peter Capaldi) on their case. He works directly for the PM, and he is sent to reign in the two. He’s vulgar, competent, and does not suffer fools, which is unfortunate for our foolish duo who have been caught in the midst of a game they do not understand.

In the Loop Gandolfini and Peter Capaldi head to head.

The two most vulgar men you will hopefully never meet

The slip happens simultaneously with a US delegate to Britain, who are all eager to use our poor Simon for their own purposes. I was stoked to see none other than James Gandolfini playing a US general who is just as foul mouthed as Malcom Tucker. If you don’t recall, James Gandolfini played Tony Soprano in the Soprano’s, and boy can this guy act. Also, he has an awesome name- the guy has “Gandolf” in his last name, that’s magic. He plays a slightly similar character to Tony, in that he is both in control and almost boiling over at every moment. He’s big and mean, and exemplifies the stereotypical American excess and violent nature that is pervasive in our culture. You just feel like he is about to blow up at any moment, or at least send 10,000 troops into your house to blow it up for him.

Toby getting “Bollocked” by MalcomThe strong point of this movie had to be watching the sometimes abrasive and other times sycophantic antics of the staffers and big names as they wheel and deal, trying desperately to step on each other to move up in the world. This also happens to bring up some great one liners as they clash wits in a battle to psychological maiming.

Some of my favourite quotes of “In the Loop”:

“In the land of truth, the man with one fact is king”

“I’m a government minister and I don’t have control of my own blinds?”

“You appear to be bleeding from the teeth”

“No hookers, it was just a joke!”

“At the end of a war you need some soldiers alive, or else it looks like you lost.”

“It will be easy peasy lemon squazy” reply: “No it won’t! It will be difficult, difficult, lemon difficult”

Oh, and the beautiful Anna Chlumsky is in this film, did I mention?

These quotes are even better in the movie- just watching these absolutely serious career politicians connive, lie, cheat and steal their way through a crisis is absolutely amazing. Check out “In the Loop” if you are a fan of British humour, political satire, or black comedy. As well, if you like watching people get browbeaten, or as they say “bollocked”, then this is the movie for you. Guaranteed to make you feel glad you are not the chumps in way over their heads, that is for sure. “In the Loop” is rated R, most likely because of its pervasive vulgarity throughout as these stressed out political lackeys berate and curse each other in unimaginably disgusting ways.

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