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The Pope Must Die Review

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Dave Albinizi is mistakenly elected as Pope! What will the portly innocent do when he discovers that The Vatican finances are being filched and squandered by his sparkly-robed officials

★★★★

And it's jolly japes a go-go time as Dave (he's fat ergo he's funny) Albinizi (Coltrane) is mistakenly elected as Pope! What will the portly innocent do when he discovers that The Vatican finances are being filched and squandered by his sparkly-robed officials? And how will he cope with the heavily signposted news that his glamorous ex-girlfriend (D'Angelo) has had his son (Getty), and he's a pop star, and he's got a frightening Cockney accent (dubbed), and he's on his death bed... and that the very same baddie who put him there wants our chunky chum out of the way too? Most importantly, can Peter Richardson's fumbling hand find the button marked "comedy" before the end credits roll? Well, no, he can't. Limp writing, leaden directing and a series of toe-curlingly unfunny "situations" sap the energies of the almost-famous comedy cast until not even Herbert Lom can wring a laugh from the damp script.

From the same writing stable as The Comic Strip, The Pope Must Die lacks the light and vicious parody of the TV shows, substituting instead a heavy mixture of trite sentiment and corny lines with no hint of irony. Doe-eyedd orphanage kiddies equal good, gravel-voiced financiers in shades mean bad, and it's time to reach for the sick bucket, mother, I can feel a moral coming on.

There's an advert for The Pope Must Die in the latest edition of Viz. It reads "Funnier than this magazine and that's official!!" Hmmm. No prizes for guessing what Roger Mellie would say to that.

Limp writing, leaden directing and a series of toe-curlingly unfunny "situations" sap the energies of this almost-famous comedy cast

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