Jonty Velcro

Two WWII secret agents meet 30 years after the war. They reminisce about their last mission in 1944, when all was not as it seemed.

Genre: Comedy

Length: 13:39

Free To View

3.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Jonathan Small,

Director/s : Much effort went into the production, and with locations, uniforms, guns, and ageing make-up it is amazing what was achieved in a miniscule budget. Even cheesy effects are ambitious and difficult to create. It’s hard to comment on the subtleties of lighting, camerawork and colour when it’s actually designed to look cheap. One can only say it succeeds well in doing so., Maxine Mason

Writer/s : Jonathan Small, Maxine Mason

Actor/s : Joshua Ive, Matt McKechnie

 

Going commando

From the obviously spoof Second World War opening, in which a clipped-voiced officer introduces a disparate team to their mission, we can tell we’re in territory somewhere between Inglorious Basterds and Carry On Sergeant.

It is gleefully all over the place, with bedroom-level effects, parodied accents, and a timeline that switches between the war and the 1970s.

There’s an American spy who lurks in occupied France in full cowboy outfit and zip-up jeans that prove his undoing, as in doing himself up, he traps his doing. His scream alerts the Germans, the mission fails, and one of the survivors sees a need for an alternative to the zipper. Thirty years later, he has invented a kind of twin tape with tiny hooks on one part that grab into fabric on the other. He shows the invention to the other survivor, Jonty Velcro. “I don’t know what to call it, Velcro,” he says.

It’s pacy, with commendably high story per minute rate, from the caricatured briefing full of public school cricketing metaphors, to the real reason the mission failed, to the tale of Cuthbertson and Velcro. And a lot of amusement too, with class satire painted with a very broad brush. The acting is knowingly hammy: Matt McKechnie and Joshua Ive could have modelled their performances on Terry Jones and John Cleese’s stock Python characters. Co-writer and co-director Maxine Mason takes a surreal turn as French Resistance fighter Jean-Luc.

Much effort went into the production, and with locations, uniforms, guns, and ageing make-up it is amazing what was achieved in a miniscule budget. Even cheesy effects are ambitious, and difficult to create. It’s hard to comment on the subtleties of lighting, camerawork and colour when it’s actually designed to look cheap. One can only say it succeeds entertainingly in doing so.

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