It’s certainly unusual to see two bombs in a row, and disappointing that one was a film that I had wanted to see at the cinema. But a disappointment it was. Dean Spanley had looked like a riotous comedy from the tailer, but in re4ality turned out to be a rather bizarre tale of a dottery old man and a preacher who thinks he’s a dog. Yes, I know that brief synopsis sounds like a winning formula for a comedy, but trust me, in this occasion it isn’t. Peter O’Toole’s role as the aforementioned geriatric provided the only comic relief as a man on the cusp of death who has forgotten – or decided to ignore – all social norms. It’s a brilliant portrayal and offers sweet relief. Unfortunately Sam Neil is given far too much screen time – no surprisingly seeing as he plays the title character, and whilst he plays it well, there’s just a little of that Sam Neil smugness that gets on my nerve.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m missing something, or maybe you just need a bottle of the Hungarian sweet wine, Imperial Tokay, to appreciate a film such as this.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: November 18th, 2009
Stars: Jeremy Northam, Sam Neill, Bryan Brown, Peter O’Toole
Length (Minutes): 96
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director: Fraser, Toa
Studio: Paramount Pictures