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Churchill: The Hollywood Years Review

Image for Churchill: The Hollywood Years

This historical "re-imagining" has Churchill (Christian Slater) as a rough and ready American GI, determined to foil Hitler's evil plans to take over England with the help of plucky Princess Elizabeth (Neve Campbell).

★★★★★

Back in 1988, Peter Richardson made Comic Strip Presents: The Strike, a smart, savage satire on how Hollywood perverts British history into big-screen action. Now he's at it again, 'hilariously' re-imagining Winston Churchill as Christian Slater's dirty-vested GI, who foils a British plot to hand power to Hitler (Antony Sher) while romancing Campbell's plucky Princess Elizabeth.

Frustratingly, Churchill lacks The Strike's lucidity and sharp comic performances, unsure of whether it's a Pearl Harbor parody or Carry On Hitler. Slater and Campbell gamely play it straight, but Richardson's inept editing erases any punchlines, while the likes of Rik Mayall and Reeves and Mortimer embarrass themselves with some truly hideous flouncing. Dire.

The premise is ripe with comic potential, but the result, despite the best efforts of a cast of UK TV comics, is largely laugh-free.