Lounge solemnly resolves to make it through this review without quoting a single word from the film. Here goes...
From the moment Graham Chapman’s cut-price King Of The Britons shuffles into view, using coconut shell clip-clops to double for the hooves of a proper horse, it’s clear that something very special is going on. Fine gag it may be, but the shells were all part of the makeshift approach forced on directors Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam by skinflint backers suspicious of the Python’s ability to translate from small to big screen.
And the Terrys stick to what they know best: sketches. Short, sharp bursts of controlled comedy fused together into a deeply silly, joyously British whole: the Black Knight; the peasants; the French taunter; the killer rabbit; the bit with the other knights who... y’know. Say... that word.
Committed Python geeks will be in paradise over the extras they were, er, in paradise over last time round – particularly the terrific doc where Palin and Jones amble around the shooting locations, reminiscing and explaining the budgetary corner-cutting (“The Scottish Department Of The Environment felt the script was ‘incompatible with the history and fabric’ of their official castles. Wouldn’t want to sully the fine reputation of all that torture and murder and boiling oil now, would we?”).
But a nice new box, audio CD and toddler’s handful of fresh featurettes hardly justifies the ‘Extraordinarily Deluxe’ tag. And the carefully timed promo for Spamalot leaves the impression that this is more repackage than redux. Made it!