Any trailer that mentions Nazi Julie Andrews and the Baby from Eraserhead must guarantee a fantastic film, or one would hope anyway, right? Luckily, it was definitely true about In The Loop - the latest creation of writer/director Armando Iannucci, whose other works include episodes of "Time Trumpet", "I'm Alan Partridge", and other shows i've never heard of. However, I'm sure many of us will remember Mr. Iannucci from now on thanks to this comedy gem. The film starts off with British Secretary of State for International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) accidentally stating on television that he feels a war might be "unforeseeable," which quickly escalates in to an international broo-ha-ha with the US and UK governments being the main players.
Toby Wright (Chris Addison) is Foster's assistant who has only just begun working for him but who quickly gets entangled in Foster's ineptitude to the point that he, too, begins to create his own series of political screw-ups. Simon and Toby are shadowed, however, by the (fucking) phenomenal Malcom Tucker (played impeccably by Peter Capaldi.) On the US side, we have Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy, in a role that could be seen as her antithesis to that of her character as Dharma's mom on Dharma and Greg), her assistant Liza Weld (played by My Girl's Vada Sultenfuss herself - Anna Chlumsky), Lt. General Flinstone- er.. I mean Miller (Tony Soprano himself - James Gandolfini), and the grenade-wielding Linton Barwick (David Rasche.) Each character is completely cut-throat in their own way, making the movie feel almost like a comedy roast, with each person constantly digging the verbal knife in to each other's backs at almost every scene.
In The Loop is a kamikaze of one-liners, bent on destroying the inflated egos of everyone on screen. Iannucci must have been collecting these for ages, making hilarious pop-culture references (from the White Stripes to Harry Potter to the Crying Game) left and right. Some of the most entertaining scenes include Washington D.C. interns letting loose at a death metal concert, and one character claiming that his infidelity was a round-about attempt to prevent a war from occurring. The spin doctoring, the lying, the cheating, the leaking, the fax-machine destroying, the babies working in the White House, and all those awkward moments every time Simon speaks in public make this film the best intelligent comedy of the year so far. Seriously, go watch it, and remember: