It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, etc. World — ‘In the Loop’ introduces one of Britain’s best satirists

Armando Iannucci’s bitter and barbed satire “In the Loop” presents global politics — in particular Washington and some pokey little failed empire called Britain — as a continuation of high school culture. There are bullies, cliques, pranks, bad behavior, badder behavior and worse behavior. There are egos to be stroked and personalities to be torpedoed. By the end, we come to feel that while Iannucci’s vision may be jaded, he may be closest to the truth.

He’s also a deft and clever wordsmith, and “In the Loop” — which features some of the characters in his BBC series “The Thick of It” — is zipitty-spit 90 minutes of hilarious and profane dialogue. This film will probably be many Americans’ first exposure to the Scotsman’s writing, but since the early 1990s, Iannucci has penned some of the UK’s greatest television and radio comedy, starting with “On the Hour” and “The Day Today,” precursors in tone and style to the sharp satire of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” on this side of the pond.

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