When Britain was in the midst of her darkest hour, the most unexpected of heroes answered in the BBC classic series Dad’s Army. And now, this beloved story has been brought to life on the big screen with humour and wit, as the cumbersome members of the Wilmington-On-Sea Home Guard face their greatest test.
As World War II draws to a close, Captain Mainwaring (Toby Jones), and his dedicated troop of Homeguard volunteers for Walmington-on-Sea, feel let down that they haven’t been able to give their all to the war effort. But when a German spy is located in Walmington-on-Sea, Mainwaring and his troops gear up to save the day with hilarious results.
Director Oliver Parker effortlessly brings the misadventures of the British series to the big screen in a film that is light, easy-going and thoroughly charming in every way. With Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, and Michael Gambon leading the pack as Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, and Private Godfrey respectively, the results are hilarious. Jones is a standout as the bureaucratic and oafish Mainwaring, who is constantly trying to exert his authority over his platoon, while also sharing a genuine desire to do his part for the war and his country. Nighy is his usual charming self, and plays up Wilson’s ‘too clever for his own good’ quality, providing Mainwaring with constant ammunition to berate him with. Gamdon is also a scene stealer as the docile, doddering, and slightly dim Private Godfrey.
While these three lead are the standouts of the platoon, all of the Home Guard get their moment to shine, including Daniel Mays as sly black marketer Private Walker and Blake Morrison as the wimpish Private Pike.
While the Home Guard are front and centre, it’s the women of Dad’s Army who truly steal the show. From the no-nonsense Mrs Mainwaring (played by Felicity Montagu) and the over-eager and overprotective Mrs Pike (played by Sarah Lancashire), to the formidable Catherine Zeta-Jones, who brings a touch of sophistication and glamour to the laid back town of Wilmington-on-Sea, these three ladies are every bit as fun to watch as the lads.
Dad’s Army is a light-hearted affair that will have audiences in fits of giggles, and is definitely worth a trip to the cinema for those looking to watch Britain’s best save the day.
Image: Paramount Pictures