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World War II: What if Nazis seized London and all of England had to band together? When scarily campy Nazi leaders invade by drilling under the English Channel and up through the cobblestones on Whitehall, Churchill leaves his quiet retirement with a cat that looks like Hitler to issue a call to arms from his bunker under Downing Street. Chris, a young farm worker with large hands, rallies the village to fight the good fight -- including an alcoholic Vicar, the oldest man in the town, several idiots, a random Frenchman and Bobby Fiske, a swearing American who believes he's battling Russia. The world's future is in their tiny plastic hands. Innovative puppeteering animatronics from Scottish brothers Edward and Rory McHenry combine with the larger than life voices of Ewan McGregor, Alan Cumming, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall and Richard E. Grant. Written by
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My dear countrymen, dear friends. Never in the field of human conflict, was so buggered up by so few for so many!
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I would love to know how writer-directors Edward and Rory McHenry pulled this off. That they were probably drunk as skunks or sniffing adhesives when they thought this up is understandable. You need some kind of off-the-wall craziness at times. And the idea, making a puppet film about the Nazis invading England is also Class A. Even satirizing war films and any other target within reach ticks the right boxes. But...
Jackboots on Whitehall is one of the worst films I watched at last year's Cannes film festival. As in it's rare I can think of no reason to watch it again, ever! Even for fans of bad films, and bad films can be hypnotically fun in a special way, there is nothing here worth slowing down for and looking at.
Despite the incredible voice cast assembled, the script is dire. The jokes, verbal and visual, and are non-existent. The puppets are cheap and cheerless. Unlike Team America: World Police, there is nothing of any depth going on here whatsoever. Jackboots is the cinematic equivalent of a group of seven year old boys playing and getting rowdier and rowdier at each turn. Sure, they're having fun but it's not fun to watch or listen to.
Viewed at the Festival Cannes 2010 but I wish I hadn't.
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