War Is Difficult Difficult Lemon Difficult

Recent scientific research suggests that swearing might actually alleviate people's experience of physical pain. So if you stub your toe, an impulsively muttered "fuck!" will soften the blow.

Because the governments depicted in In the Loop are prone to take good old-fashioned idealism and—to quote a character from the film—"ram it up your shitter with a lubricated horse cock," it might explain why the political players in this British farce are so goddamn foul-mouthed. Perhaps all that swearing helps to lessen the pain of being a cog in a frighteningly absurd, unfair, and soulless machine.

In the Loop is one of the verbally filthiest movies I've ever seen, but it's also one of the smartest and scariest satires to boot.

The central tug of war in this fast-talking, breakneck-paced film is between officials in American and British government: some are itching to go to war in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, and some see the whole thing as a hasty rush into military action. (Sound familiar?)

Junior British minister Simon Foster becomes a pawn in a dizzying conspiracy after he innocuously goes off-topic during a radio interview and says that "war is unforeseeable." That's enough for the anti-war officials in America to use him in their game, despite Foster's neutrality (and naivete?) on the subject. Later, when Foster is ambushed by the press, he tries to backtrack by saying that peace is sometimes achieved by climbing "the mountain of conflict," a phrase that the war advocates latch on to.

Line by line, insult by brilliant insult, In the Loop is fucking hilarious. But it's also a deeply sad and cynical statement about the evil of politics and the futility of government to play by the rules. The movie (which Robert tells me is closer to our real-life dive into the Iraq War than I realize) offers no glimmer of hope, and the most vile characters manage to dodge their much-deserved comeuppances and those comeuppances are instead redirected at the characters who seem to have their hearts in the right place.

Most of us have a lubricated horse cock rammed up our shitter, and we don't even know it.


  1. It might come as a suprise but British people actually swear a lot, a real lot. I don't like hearing it on the streets so much, but in a group of friends I'd guess every third word is a curse. Thanks for the trailer though, it looks a good! I think the fall of the Berlin Wall was also partly caused by a journalist mis-hearing a word. When that word got out well, you know the rest!

  2. I'm still excited to see this film. Having been exposed to government blowhards on both sides of the pond, that trailer makes me think it will be an exceptionally accurate portrayal.

  3. By the way, this is as much a horror film as, say, The Ring or Saw.