Transferring television programmes to the cinema rarely works and transporting The Thick of It to the big screen is only partially successful. The Thick of It remains must see television, a frantic thirty minutes of one liners. At 102 minutes, In The Loop feels like a too long TV special and lacks pace. And it’s odd to see regulars from the television show with different names and working for the government when they were in opposition.
Nevertheless, a little shorter this would have made an excellent TV special focussing on the special relationship. As with the The Thick of It, In the Loop hangs on Downing Street communications guru Malcolm Tucker, but the Americans are not intimidated by Tucker and at times he seems almost impotent. As a result opportunities for pathos arise but, apparently afraid to follow through, In the Loop bottles it and consequently lacks depth.
Meanwhile, over on BBC2, the new series of The Thick of It, is actually much improved now it has been expanded to caricature the opposition in equal measure.