The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.
Dad’s Army is should be familiar to anyone who watched TV through the 70’s, 80’s or maybe even the 90’s (and apparently it’s still on repeat in parts of the world!). It was one of the British classics that Dad or Granddad probably watched. Old codgers bumbling their way through defending the homefront during World War 2. Considering all the other old school TV series getting updated with movie, or at least a gritty miniseries, Dad’s Army was probably ripe for one.
The ingredients are there, a solid British cast that includes Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon & Catherine Zeta Jones, some sharp characters and a cute & very cinematic english town & countryside. The trouble with 'Dad’s Army' is it never really seems to make the most of the cast or even the concept. The jokes get polite smiles, rather than big laughs, the plot drags at times and some characters end up being frustratingly dimwitted without much redemption.
There are some rewards, Bill Nighy & Michael Gambon are pretty great, the marriage moments at home add real drama of the story and the traditional values add a touch of charm.
One point to make, although I remember flicking past the original series while I was watching cartoons in my childhood years I never was that familiar with it. If you’re a Dad’s Army fan, or you’re taking someone who is, it may strike more of a chord with you.
All in all, it’s a solid take on the Dad’s Army TV series, with a great cast, but it doesn’t live up to the ‘British Comedy Classic' reputation of the original. While it might be one that’s safe to watch with the grandparents I’m not sure whether it will be a memorable experience.
DVD Releases: 24th August 2016
Rating: PG – Contains low level violence
Duration: 100 minutes
Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon
Director: Oliver Parker (Johnny English Reborn)
There are two actors brought back from the original television cast: Ian Lavender, promoted from Private Pike to Brigadier Pritchard; and Frank Williams, repeating his role as Rev Timothy Farthing.
The sign above the Pawnbrokers shop reads 'Croft and Perry Pawnbrokers' as a tribute/in joke as David Croft and Jimmy Perry wrote the TV series the film is based on.
Filmed, in part, on location in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
Bill Nighy's role was played on the television series by John Le Mesurier. Le Mesurier played Bilbo Baggins in the BBC Radio broadcast of The Lord of the Rings, in which Nighy played Sam Gamgee.
3 of the titular characters all played a part in the Harry Potter saga. Michael Gambon played Dumbledore, Toby Jones voiced the house elf Dobby and Bill Nighy played Scrimgeour. However none of them share any scenes together.
John Le Mesurier, the actor who played Sergeant Wilson in the original TV series, was for a time in the same class as Alan Turing (subject of The Imitation Game (2014)) at Sherborne School, Dorset.
The precise location of the fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea is revealed in the "Dad's Army - Official Trailer 2" by a red square marker, when a map is briefly shown pinpointing the location to be on the south coast of England, almost exactly equidistant for Brighton and Hastings or the red square markers of Portsmouth and Dover.