The Hot Potato (2011) starring Ray Winstone, Colm Meaney, Jack Huston, David Harewood, John Lynch, Philip Davis, Derren Nesbitt directed by Tim Lewiston Movie Review

The Hot Potato (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Ray Winstone and Jack Huston in The Hot Potato (2011)

Under Cooked Spud

Kenny (Ray Winstone - Edge of Darkness) and Danny (Jack Huston - Shrooms) come into possession of a rather unusual item, a lump of uranium. Along with Danny's bird Carole (Lois Winstone) they set about trying to find a buyer for the dot potato, it is a mission which sees them criss crossing all over Europe until they end up at the Vatican.

"The Hot Potato" strangely reminds me of "Carry on Columbus" despite being very different movies. "Carry on Columbus" failed to capture what the "Carry on" movies were about two decades earlier and in the same way "The Hot Potato" fails to capture what crime-capers were all about during the 60s which is what it is trying to be. It just lacks the fun of a good caper and ends up more of a dry drama with a series of amusing characters and funny lines which end up not being funny at all.

Now right from the start "The Hot Potato" has the look, the opening credits recreate that 60s look and I hate to say this but end up the best part of the movie. But also right from the start the humour fails from Kenny's back street metal workshop and his bossy secretary to the arrival of Danny with the lead lined chest with the lump of uranium in it. It's not that you can't see the humour, it is clearly visible such as when we discover Kenny's wife is younger than him and we have Louise Redknapp as Ray Winstone's young wife. But at the same time every single joke falls flat because there is no punch to the delivery, no comic timing.

The knock on effect of this is that you start thinking about who would have been cast if "The Hot Potato" had been made during the 60s and of course the names Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins, Terry-Thomas and Alastair Sim all spring to mind. And sadly you can picture them in the roles and doing a much better job than those who on paper look perfect for this sort of movie but end up being very wrong.

What this all boils down to is that "The Hot Potato" is a movie which is 50 years to late as made in the 60s when the likes of Peter Sellers was making comedies and it would have been great. But now it is just a wannabee which never comes off as it lacks the comic timing and fun which made those 60s crime-capers so good.