Queen & Country serves little purpose

Queen and Country. See PA Feature FILM Reviews. Photo: PA Photo/BBC Worldwide
Queen and Country. See PA Feature FILM Reviews. Photo: PA Photo/BBC Worldwide

QUEEN & COUNTRY (15, 115 mins) Drama/Romance/Comedy. Callum Turner, Caleb Landry.

In 1987, John Boorman won Oscar votes with his autobiographical comedy drama, Hope And Glory, and garnered five nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

Taking its title from a refrain in Elgar’s stirring Pomp And Circumstance Marches, the defiantly unsentimental film relived Boorman’s memories of the Blitz through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy called Bill Rohan.

The writer-director juxtaposed global conflict with the intimate trials and tribulations of the Rohan family, conjuring memorable scenes such as Bill rejoicing when a wayward Luftwaffe bomb destroys his school.

Queen & Country continues the misadventures of Boorman’s fictional hero, unfolding almost 10 years later when Bill has come of age and can now serve his country - but the film a crushing disappointment.

Boorman’s script occasionally glisters, like when one character sums up the intrigue of the Cambridge Five spy ring by deadpanning, “Buggery and skulduggery go hand in hand”, but these nuggets of verbal gold are few and far between.