In The Loop – Lost in translation

I have no doubt that the days before the US declared war on Afghanistan in 2001 were hectic and that accusations and insults were flung about prolifically amongst various government offices. Such is the setting of the political farce IN THE LOOP, which plays out during the final, clamorous days of a war-free United States – from the British perspective. Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) is a bumbling British Secretary of something-or-other who inadvertently gets involved in the war planning after a gaffe during an interview and spends the rest of the film trying to stay afloat amidst a sea of war-hungry American politicians.

While this is certainly fertile ground for satire with prime targets on all sides, the film felt more like an hour and a half-long meeting peppered with cleverly constructed comebacks and abrasive name-calling. And even though a lot is going on in the film at all times, it has none of the fast-paced excitement of the trailer, a brilliant Kubrick-esque teaser. Just don’t go expecting a modern day DR. STRANGELOVE or you’ll be disappointed.