This is funny as hell but the critique doesn't, to my eyes, have much edge to it in 2017. Kubrick's riff on war in Barry Lyndon felt a lot more immediate to me. The weird libidinal energy that animates all the string-pulling is a funny contrast to the technicity of the plane ultimately responsible for ending the damn world. Presents an interesting taxonomy of people occupying positions of power, is another plus.
No matter how many times I see this film, I'm never able to embrace it as a comedic "masterpiece." Yes, it has parts that are great, like the imagery, tense atmosphere, and the performances of Sellers and Scott. But, its humor comes almost exclusively from its audacious presentation instead of being outright funny. For a satire, it takes itself too seriously, with the jokes almost seeming like afterthoughts.
"Gentleman! You can't fight in here. It's the war room!" A brilliant black comedy/farce from a director not exactly known for his sense of humour. Pitch perfect direction, photography, art design and performances. Love how efforts to stop the end of the world are compromised by ridiculous bureaucracy - that is surely how it would happen in real life?