Owen Gleiberman
November 08, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

All the Queen's Men

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
105 minutes
Wide Release Date
10/25/02
performer
Eddie Izzard, Matt LeBlanc, David Birkin, James Cosmo, Udo Kier, Nicolette Krebitz
director
Stefan Ruzowitzky
distributor
Strand Releasing
author
David Schneider
genre
Comedy, Drama, War

We gave it an F

In the ’80s, there was ”Privates on Parade,” a squallingly unfunny John Cleese military farce that seemed to exist for no reason beyond its naughty pun of a title. Is it any surprise that a transvestites-in-World War II comedy called All the Queen’s Men uses up its only (lame) laugh in the same way?

Matt LeBlanc is an OSS agent who is forced to join a top-secret British drag squadron; in his wig, lipstick, and padded dress, he ends up looking like a slightly less virile Matthew Broderick. Their assignment is to infiltrate the German factory that makes the Enigma decoding machines — a factory staffed entirely by women.

Dutifully, the ”Some Like It Hot” tropes are hauled out of their rusty costume box. Udo Kier, flexing his jowls, is a Nazi officer who tries to seduce LeBlanc! Eddie Izzard, as the la-di-da squadron trainer, enjoys dressing as a woman more than he does as a man! The trouble is, the movie plays like some sort of undercover thriller — as if anyone were remotely invested in the outcome, and as though it would compromise LeBlanc’s pouty delinquent vibe if there were actually a joke at his expense. The vibe remains uncompromised; the comedy is nonexistent.

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