Hotel! (2001) Benjamin Boyd, Paul McGann, Art Malik, Paul Birchard Movie Review

Hotel! (2001)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Peter Capaldi in Hotel! (2001)

Hostage Hotel

Ben Carter (Paul McGann) used to be special forces but after a failed attempt to kill a terrorist in Bosnia now works at The Nearby Hotel run by manager Hilton Gilfoyle (Peter Capaldi). When the U.S. President (Lee Major) on Air Force One has to put down at Ashford Flying Club he has to book in to the hotel which is full of quirky guests. But it seems there may be something bigger going on and a group of terrorists lead by Radochek Zeigler (Art Malik) plan to assassinate the President at the hotel.

"Hotel!" is simply a British attempt at delivering the sort of spoof comedy you would associate with Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, the sort which at one time often featured Leslie Nielsen. Unfortunately for me the end result ends up feeling incomplete with some vital ingredient missing and making "Hotel!" not the hilarious movie it is trying desperately to be.

But before I get to what that missing ingredient is what we get in "Hotel!" is everything and the kitchen sink thrown at us. There are plenty of sight gags such as some writing on Air Force One and there are as many dialogue gags. On top of that there is a nun gag, numerous cameos featuring stars of British television, re-workings of jokes that I am sure I saw in one of those better known spoof movies and loads more comedy, some of which really doesn't work such as one referencing the planes Black Box. I would imagine on paper the writers of "Hotel!" thought they had got it right or at least thought more jokes worked than didn't.

But as I said there is something which is missing when it comes to "Hotel!" and that is simply timing. Every gag is followed by another one and the delivery of it doesn't deliver the punch line or wait for the joke to sink in. As such what you get is a procession of jokes with so few of them actually working and sad to say but it causes "Hotel!" to become monotonous.

What this all boils down to is that "Hotel!" ends up a failed attempt at making a British spoof movie. The sad thing is that the writing is not all bad but the delivery is completely off and it is that which ruins the movie.