I finally looked at a copy of Dad's Army. It's the 2016 film based on the British TV series, of the same name, from the 60s and 70s. It's the day by day trials of the members of the local Home Guard Unit. I was curious, I had watched the whole series a year or two ago and really enjoyed it. The movie manages to capture some of the feel of the original series and it looks quite good and period.
The original series was created by Jimmy Perry and he wrote the series with David Croft. The movie is written by Hamish McColl and directed by Oliver Parker. Hamish is mostly an actor but he's written screenplays for Mr Bean's Holiday, Johnny English Reborn and the screen story for Paddington. I've seen the first two and enjoyed them well enough. I haven't seen Paddington but there's a DVD on the shelf for future viewing. I picked it up because I was such a fan of the books when I was younger. I haven't read any of them in 40 years but I remember them fondly. Oliver also does a good bit of acting. He's directed a dozen movies and the two recent St Trinian's remakes are at the top of the list. Other than Dad's Army and Johnny English Reborn I don't think I've seen any of his earlier films.
The film jazzes up the plot a bit, usually an episode had a minimal bit of business to keep the guys busy. This time The Normandy Invasion heads the War Department's agenda, there's a spy in the area of Walmington-On-Sea, and on top of that a writer from Women's Magazine, Catherine Zeta Jones, comes to write up a story on the Home Guard unit lead by Captain Mainwaring. The men are alerted to the spy and further wound up by Catherine's beauty, high fashion clothes and big city ways. She captures the limited imaginations of the local men but the ladies see right through her. The women of Walmington-On-Sea play a bigger part in the movie than they do in the TV series.
Tobi Jones play Captain Mainwaring and he does a great job. He really is a superb actor. He doesn't try to copy Arthur Lowe's Mainwaring, he makes the man his own but still maintains the feel of the original character. Same for Bill Nighy, who plays Sergeant Wilson, he manages to create his own character who reminds me of the original played by John Le Mesurier. I'm quite fond of both actors. And who wouldn't be after watching them. Michael Gambon, Daniel Mays, Blake Harrison, Bill Paterson and Tom Courtenay round out the rest of the platoon. Michael is delightful as Private Charles Godfrey. Original series cast member Ian Lavender plays Brigadier Pritchard. Ian played Private Pike in the original series. Frank Williams played Reverend Timothy Farthing in the original series and he returns to play him again.
I enjoyed the movie, not a much as the series, but enough. The movie story is a bit more modern than a series story. I think I would have liked to see less of the romantic plot line, it would have given the members of the platoon more to do. I always liked it when the platoon was out in the countryside making trouble. I liked the look of the movie, the characters were still fun to spend some time with, and I'd want to see it again sometime. I'll probably watch the series again first.