Blu-ray Review – The Parole Officer (2001)

The Parole Officer

After he witnesses a murder by a bent copper and is framed for the crime, mild mannered parole officer Simon Garden (Steve Coogan) devises a plan to break into a bank in order to steal a videotape that will prove his innocence.

Now this film is a favourite of mine, I used to watch it religiously on VHS when I was younger and continued to watch it through my formative years on VHS and on DVD. I think it definitely still holds up today, it works as a somewhat spoof of crime thrillers but also as a straight up comedy. It’s silly, it’s farcical and its f***ing hilarious.

Coogan is my absolute favourite comedy performer and this is the perfect role for him to play, a bit stupid but someone you really route for. Great supporting cast including Stephen Dillane and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) along with the likes of Ben Miller, Om Puri, Stephen Waddington, Jenny Agutter and an appearance from the late Omar Sharif plus cameos from people like Simon Pegg and the ever gorgeous Julia Davis. Brilliantly quotable (“I can’t believe there are people still talking at the back!”), cool 80’s and 90’s music and priceless gags (the rollercoaster scene always has me in stitches).

Presentation is solid, if not exactly 4K, it still does the job. The image is quite soft in places, especially in wide shots, but close ups offer quite a lot of detail in faces and clothing. Still, as a massive fan of the film, I’m happy with it and it’s definitely a big step up from the DVD. Luckily, all of the DVD extras have been ported over, the fun and interesting commentary, featurette, pretty basic deleted scenes, trailer and, rather pointlessly, the Atomic Kitten music video. I only wish that they kept the really cool DVD menu, that was great. All in all a great overall package from Fabulous Films.

If you’ve never seen it but are a fan of hilarious British comedies, buy it…NOW!

Peter Fletcher

Crime, Comedy | UK, 2001 |15| Fabulous Films | 4th July 2016(UK) | Dir.John Duigan |Steve Coogan, Stephane Dillane, Lena Headey,Ben Miller, Om Puri, Stephen Waddington | Buy:[Blu-ray]

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