The Parole Officer Reviews
* Thought there was a believable amount of chemistry between Steve Coogan and Lena Headey, even though this was only really explored sparingly.
But the question about these TV funnymen is whether they can make the transition to film. Many have failed, few have succeeded.
Good news. Coogan succeeds!
To have a film debut as good as this bodes very well for the future. He teams up with Om Puri, star of East is East, and Ben Miller, sidekick to Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English.
Simon Garden (Coogan) is a parole officer framed for murder, after he witnesses one take place. The culprit is Police Inspector Burton (Stephen Dillane), and he bribes Coogan for his silence, in exchange for his release. But Garden has other ideas, and he wants justice and sets about stealing the CCTV tape which is in Burton's safety deposit box. Can they get justice?
It's a very funny film, but also has a very good plot. It reminds me a lot of Johnny English, although is not quite as good, but it's very close. And also it doesn't lie in the action-comedy genre, but simply a comedy.
John Duigan directs, with Coogan a co-scriptwriter. Andrew MacDonald co-produces, and he's just about my favourite producer. He's responsible for 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, The Last King of Scotland and many more masterpieces.
This is a far better film that the mediocre You, Me and Dupree I watched yesterday, and a million miles better than the parody films coming out. I strongly recommend it, and given its 90 minute length, you can't really go wrong.
Personal Enjoyment: :fresh: [b]8/10[/b]
As a film: :fresh: [b]7/10[/b]
One for the future: Steve Coogan
Stand-out scene: Accessing the vault
Brainer or no-brainer: Brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: tbc
Went to see this upon it's theatrical release and loved it. As a big fan of Steve Coogan, his name is a byword for quality comedy as far as i'm concerned. Nerdy Simon Garden, the eponymous character, is more Duncan Thickett than Alan Patridge and inexplicably turns the head of young policewoman Emma (Lena Headey). The rest of the cast, featuring the likes of Ben Miller, Jenny Agutter, Omar Sharif, Om Puri and Stephen Dillaine provide excellent support to Coogan, with Julia Davis and Simon Pegg putting in brief cameos also. Garden is framed for the murder of an accountant by a corrupt cop (Dillaine) and spends the rest of the movie trying to retreive a video tape that will prove his innocence. Set in Manchester much of the location work was actually filmed in Liverpool round the corner from where I used to work, giving the movie an extra dimension of pleasure for me.