Jackboots on Whitehall (2010)

Jackboots on Whitehall is a revisionist view of World War 2 in which Hitler devises his own Channel Tunnel  in order to gain control of England and Wales. Once there, Churchill rallies the citizens of London and encourages them to immigrate to a little place called Scot Land, where they will be safe from the clutches of National Socialism.

Jackboots on Whitehall is over-enthusiastically described as Team America meets Inglourious Basterds. Team America presumably because it has puppets and Inglourious Basterds because there’s Nazis. Well, if we’re going down that cul-de-sac of tenuous linkage, then EBFS will don it’s marketing hat and describe this  as Fingermouse meets Sound of Music.

With a eclectic cast including Ewan McGregor, Timothy Spall, Stephen Merchant and Alan Cumming, a pastiche of Braveheart and an absurdest humour in the vein of Monty Python, you would think that this has something going for it. Okay…

The one thing I can NOT take away from the creators, Edward McHenry and Rory McHenry, is the effort that’s gone into this homage of English propaganda movies of the 40’s and 50’s. So much time and attention has gone into the overall look of Jackboots, it makes it difficult to pick at the one obvious flaw. That being, the script. However, for all it’s 50’s Barbie dolls dressed as nurses and vicars with AK-47s, the fact of the matter is that the script is pretty limp and seems to hope that the audience will find it all terribly amusing because the lines are being uttered by Action Man. This a one joke affair that is stretched out so far I feared it would snap back and take my eye out.

The only other positive thing I can say is that Timothy Spall’s impersonation of Winston Churchill is actually better than the lisping effort he provided us with in The King’s Speech.


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