Derek Winnert

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This article was written on 16 May 2017, and is filled under Reviews.

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Whisky Galore! ** (2016, Eddie Izzard, Gregor Fisher, Fenella Woolgar, James Cosmo, Naomi Battrick, Tim Pigott-Smith, Ellie Kendrick) – Movie Review

Eddie Izzard and Gregor Fisher put their comedy skills behind this mild but pleasant enough remake of the Ealing Studios classic. Izzard does a dithering Captain Mainwaring impersonation as Captain Waggett.

Eddie Izzard and Gregor Fisher put their comedy skills behind this very mild but good natured, easy-going and pleasant enough remake of the much-loved Ealing Studios classic Whisky Galore! (1949).

In writer Peter McDougall’s screenplay, the story is more or less the same as before, with a bunch of eccentric, alcohol-deprived Scottish islanders plundering cases of whisky from a cargo ship stranded off their isolated island of Todday during World War Two. With no new take on the story, that does beg the question of why remake it?

Eddie Izzard does a dithering Captain Mainwaring impersonation as Captain Waggett, the stuffy Home Guard man determinedly on the trail of the missing bottles of whisky. Fenella Woolgar is fun as his wife Dolly, relishing some funny lines, and James Cosmo is good as Macalister the minister.

Gregor Fisher does well too as Macroon, the father of two grown-up girls Catriona (Ellie Kendrick) and Peggy (Naomi Battrick) who are about to marry – if there’s any whisky galore, that is! The prospective grooms are returning war hero Sergeant Odd (Sean Biggerstaff) and George (Kevin Guthrie), the son of a strict Calvinist mother.

Given the quality of the performers, it is surprising that the results are more just mildly amusing than actually funny.

However, it is a good looking film, smartly photographed on location (Portsoy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland), with one benefit over the original – colour. And at least Glasgow-born Gillies MacKinnon keeps it brisk, tidy and professional. And composer Patrick Doyle comes up with appropriate Scots-style music.

Also in the cast are Tim Pigott-Smith, Michael Nardone, Kevin Mains, Brian Pettifer, Iain Robertson, Sean Scanlan and Ken Drury.

The story is loosely based on true events of 1941 but is based on a novel by Compton MacKenzie.

© Derek Winnert 2017 Movie Review

Check out more reviews on http://derekwinnert.com

 

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