Barely disguising its intentions to ridicule the circumstances that lead to the 2002 Iraq Invasion, In the Loop examines the fictitious machinations of UK and USA spin-doctors, career politicians and advisors who get caught up in a debate about whether or not to declare war in the Middle East. As everybody plays off each other for political gain it soon becomes apparent than in modern politics you must either compromise your morals or be destroyed.
Made by the UK comedic writer/director Armando Iannucci as a stand-alone spin-off from his TV series The Thick of It (think The Office meets Yes Minister), In the Loop is both ruthlessly cynical and extremely funny. While the consistently strong cast includes recognisable names such as Steve Coogan and James Gandolfini, it is Scottish actor Peter Capaldi as the unstoppable spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker who truly stars. Tucker’s profanity-filled tirades of abuse would intimidate the entire cast of Glengarry Glen Ross, making him one of the most delightfully repugnant characters to grace the screen.
In the Loop is political satire at its best, leaving you giggling at the one-liners yet feeling complete despair about the political process.
Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 346, 2010
© Thomas Caldwell, 2010