23rd Jan2019

‘Brexit: The Uncivil War’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Sarah Belcher, Malcolm Freeman, Lucy Russell, Liz White, Simon Paisley Day, John Heffernan, Lee Boardman, Paul Ryan, Kate O’Flynn, Tim Steed, Nicholas Day, Tim McMullan, Richard Goulding, Oliver Maltman | Written by James Graham | Directed by Toby Haynes


Toby Hayne’s untimely and somewhat exploitive chartering of the creation and ultimately the execution of what may just be one of the most consequential political tragedies to befall on the British people by the British people in modern times – Brexit: The Uncivil War is, like its namesake, a disaster.

The subject matter of Hayne’s film has, of course, an interesting basis to be brought to the screen. Almost two years on from David Cameron’s ludicrous political party gamble in a referendum vote on the E.U. and the UK government (nor people for that matter) are nowhere closer formulating a promising deal or coming together to pass or halt such a colossally impactful decision that will rock the country to its core, and possibly standstill. In the midst of political turmoil Hayne’s Brexit: The Uncivil War, a truly horrible title if i have ever seen one, may possibly offer a cohesive explanation or simplistic reasoning for all this despair. However much like the obnoxious and muddled exit fallout itself, Hayne’s film is a desperate attempt to create a formulated narrative out of discrepancy and confusion with ridiculous comedic characters leading the charge. Pretty much-replicated bang on in that case.

Instead of an informative or educational viewpoint of where things went wrong and the criminality that consisted of political betrayal. We are left with a straight forward simplistic venture with little character depth or contextual examination on offer. The plot itself is a stabbing sensation of a slow but sure reminder of how gullible and pedantic the British people and its constituency are. We have in the wake of a responsible narrative a parody of sorts, reminiscent of a Funny or Die/SNL sketch or the short-lived Channel 4 comedy Star Stories – platforms that have completely died of any originality or intrigue. Hayne’s film is convicted in a laughably bad consistency of talent show impressions of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove from Richard Goulding and Oliver Maltman, respectively. Each bumbling idiot character haunts the screen with how ridiculous and condescending the approach to inject humour in these villainous public figures is instead of the damning investigation the people deserve.

The characters are both outrageously obnoxious and clownish. Incredibly unlikable and screen corrosive when depicted in a sense of bravado. Evolving from not only resenting the characters but the film itself. Benedict Cumberbatch is probably the highlight, but the performance displays the exact same replication of his role as Julian Assange in Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate. An unlikable loud obnoxious bore. The accent of his subject is also highly unironically imaginative and problematic. Ranging from three dialects of the British peninsula of a Welsh twang, Geordie-droll and heavy natural London accent dominating throughout.

Brexit: The Uncivil War is available on DVD and VOD now. If you’re in the UK you can watch it for free via All4.


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