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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Don't panic, the critics like this remake

Published 27/01/2016 | 01:56

Blake Harrison, who plays clueless Private Pike, at the world premiere
Blake Harrison, who plays clueless Private Pike, at the world premiere

Critics have told film fans not to panic over the new Dad's Army remake, giving it warm reviews.

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Stars of the big screen adaptation of the classic BBC sitcom were out in Leicester Square for the world premiere a nd the newspapers make happy reading for the actors and fans alike, describing it as "fun" and "nostalgic".

Grant Rollings, for the Sun, said the film was "a thoroughly spirited remake of a classic British comedy show".

"So what if many of the jokes are older than the cast's combined age? They're the best ones. And they're delivered by great actors," he added.

The Daily Mail's Brian Viner awarded three stars, saying: "Don't panic, it's actually rather good fun."

He said: "Oliver Parker's film, while never reaching anything like the heights of the original BBC series at its glorious best, has the same sort of gentle charm and a few bursts of inspired physical comedy."

Nigel Farndale, writing for the Daily Telegraph, singled out Toby Jones, as Captain Mainwaring, and Sir Michael Gambon, as Private Godfrey, for particular praise.

But he said: "On the subject of women in the film generally, it is mildly irksome that the film-makers felt they had to PC up their story to include a 'Mum's Army' sub-plot."

He added the depiction of the Women's Auxiliary Army as in their 50s and 60s might "enrage" hardcore fans but "everyone else may be too busy laughing to care".

Giving the film a five star rating, Sean O'Grady, in the Independent, called it "as tasty and nostalgic as a slice of that upside-down cake that Godfrey's sister Dolly used to bake".

He added: "This celebration of Dad's Army surpasses the original. Like facing up to the Nazi menace, it took courage for me to say that, such is my reverence for the original."

But the Daily Mirror's David Edwards gave the remake a heavy shelling.

He said: "Who do they think they are kidding? This all-out assault on Britain's comedy crown jewels contains all the humour of a V2 rocket attack.

"With moments of humour strictly rationed and inspiration rarer than a pair of wartime nylons, it's time for all involved in this career-killing catastrophe to panic."

The film remake of the Second World War-set sitcom, which ran from 1968-77, sees Catherine Zeta-Jones play journalist Rose Winters, whose arrival in Walmington-on-Sea to report on Captain Mainwaring's (Jones) Home Guard sets pulses racing and proves a distraction while the group tries to smoke out a German spy in their midst.

The pair are backed by an all-star British cast which also includes Bill Nighy as Sergeant Wilson, Bill Paterson as Frazer, Daniel Mays as Walker and Blake Harrison as Private Pike.

The film is out in UK cinemas on February 5.

Press Association

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