Viewed – 09 October 2013 DVD
A big-screen outing for the much acclaimed cult British TV series ‘The League Of Gentlemen’ would seem a natural progression for a series that spanned three seasons, a tour and even a pantomime (!). But the reaction to this imaginative feature was bittersweet indifference at best. I suppose in hindsight, basing a movie on the idea of these much loved creations being killed off, starts things with a downer from the off. But let’s not be too hasty. The characters of rural village Royston Vasey learn of an impending Armageddon on their world following a prophesy and choose to enter the real world in order to seek out their creators, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith so to convinced them to write them back into being again.
For such a gifted group of comediennes, along with writer / producer Jeremy Dyson (played in the movie by Michael Sheen) such a premise seems right for them – they would never take the easy route and always come up with something clever – and clever this is. Segway’s into a sixteen century ‘movie script’ featuring David Warner as a wizard plotting a King’s murder causes proceedings to lose their focus, but along with cameos from Victoria Wood, Peter Kay and Simon Pegg – the wealth of ideas and sharp dialogue (with many funny lines) manage to make this entertaining regardless.
Fans of the TV series will probably always find room to nit pick (as could I – not enough Pauline or Papa Lazarou, dodgy stop-motion animation, and the ending plays on one of the oldest clichés in the book). This is after all, the ultimate swansong for the characters, and it’s sad to see them go. Yet on it’s own merits, Apocalypse probably is as good as we could have hoped for. Isn’t that right, Dave?
Verdict: 3 /5