The reunion of the Monty Python team on stage for the first time in over thirty years, and for the last time ever.The reunion of the Monty Python team on stage for the first time in over thirty years, and for the last time ever.The reunion of the Monty Python team on stage for the first time in over thirty years, and for the last time ever.
A re-union after such a long time is always risky and likely to disappoint, just ask many rock bands that tried to re-capture the old magic, and the Pythons pretty much fail in the expected ways. They're old tired-looking men performing material written by bright energetic young men and it shows. In many of the routines they appear to be simply going through the motions, there's no energy or edge to the performances. The sharp comic timing is generally absent and instead there's heavy reliance on the good will of the audience enjoying the familiar favourites.
Eric Idle and his team did put together a cleverly constructed show, with big musical and dance numbers in a Python style to give the Pythons themselves time to change costumes and, presumably, have a little lie down.
Very little of it made me laugh out loud and the bits that did were generally the big-screen inserts showing famous sketches from the TV-era Python, such as Philosopher's Football, and their series of spoofs on the Olympics, the hundred yard dash for people with no sense of direction etc.
It was great that they included Carol Cleveland, the unofficial seventh Python and the only regular female performer in the shows and films, and there are a couple of funny cameos from Professors Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking at the end of one of the few bits that really did still work, Eric Idle's Galaxy Song from the film "The Meaning of Life". The Argument Sketch, the Dead Parrot Sketch and The Cheese Shop Sketch all worked pretty well as did "Nudge Nudge" but aside from that very little of it would have attracted a paying audience if it wasn't part of an established and historic team.
The DVD itself was badly let down by the appalling picture quality; it was often like watching something on YouTube! It was grainy and fuzzy in almost all the close-ups and I wonder if there had in fact been no close-up shots filmed and the close-up was just a computer- enhanced zoom in on an existing wide shot with the usual loss of resolution that this entails? If so then someone from the film production team needed firing.
For die-hard Python fans only, and even then you'd be better off watching "Life Of Brian" or "Holy Grail" again.
- Nov 24, 2014