The humour is not as sharp as one might expect from Iannucci, though there are plenty of barbs within, but in many ways this is the joke. Scenes are taken straight from farcical british sitcoms, revitalised by taking place within this most brutal and tragic setting.
Farce and factionalism in a lean adaptation of the graphic novel. The creative decision to play to the strengths and the accents of the cast gives the film the momentum to glide right through the outright tragedy at the heart of the film. Visual comedy plays second fiddle to the script, but hey ho, I can live with that when Ianucci's in charge.
What's with all the 5-star ratings these days for films to find out they are anything but? Beyond all the amusingly farcical shenanigans of Stalin's cabinet, it's the bottom line implicit Kruschev apologetics that are most problematic. Another film with acting heavyweights safeguarding establishment ethics and espousing a gradualist 'moderate' position. Iannucci is a good director, but his politics are wonky at best.