In the Loop

COMEDY; 1hr 46min

STARRING: Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, James Gandolfini, Mimi Kennedy, Chris Addison

DC comics: from left, Capaldi and Gandolfini 

Ambition fused with desperation is the lifeblood of political strategising in director Armando Iannucci’s mouthy comedy — along with the sort of ineptitude that, in the case of British cabinet minister Simon Foster (Hollander), prides itself on its intelligence. When Simon rashly comments in an interview that he sees a US–Middle East war as “unforeseeable,” he incurs not only the potty-mouthed wrath of the Prime Minister’s perpetually apoplectic Director of Communications (Capaldi) but the self-serving attention of Washington, DC, politico Karen Clarke (Kennedy) and her slippery Pentagon cohort, General Miller (Gandolfini). Quick sticks, Simon and his go-getting assistant Toby (Addison) are off to DC, where a piranha tank awaits them.


That’s just the kick-off to a wheels-within-wheeling-dealing power play that ping-pongs from 10 Downing Street to the White House to UN headquarters in an atmosphere of mounting derangement. Iannucci, who was also the writer-creator of The Thick of It, the 2005 BBC series from which this caustic little whirligig evolved, emerges as a skewer-sharp satirist with a cracking cast that doesn’t miss a single withering zinger. Loopy.