This true-with-enormous-liberties-taken story about the plot to resolve the Northern Irish Troubles—between Catholics, led by Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), and Protestant Loyalists, led by the Democratic Unionist Party’s Ian Paisley (Timpthy Spall)—would be great if it had a better story and characterizations. Though Meaney is quite good playing McGuinness as Meaney-ish, Spall seems as if he’s acting in a different, more dramatic film, doing a full-on impersonation that comes off heavy-handed and forced. It doesn’t help that the plot—about these opposing leaders stuck in a minivan as they travel to catch a flight from Edinburgh to Belfast—has enough contrivance to make a Three’s Company episode seem organic. If the leaders aren’t hounded by bad weather, their car is colliding with a deer, or running out of gas. It’s endless, and Meaney’s good humor can only do so much when Spall’s gruffness sucks the life from the room. Colin Bateman’s script is so-so, and director Nick Hamm doesn’t have a handle on his actors—especially Tony Stephens, who plays former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as if he runs a private school full of wacky adolescents.
Director: Nick Hamm
Producer: Jo Bamford, Janine Modder, Nick Hamm, Mark Huffam and Piers Tempest
Cast: Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Freddie Highmore, John Hurt, Toby Stephens, Catherine McCormack, Ian McElhinney, Ian Beattie, Barry Ward and Kristy Robinson