This inspired and boldly provocative concept from writer David Baddiel concerns a London Muslim who discovers he was adopted, and is in fact Jewish. It offers British-Iranian comic Omid Djalili a rare leading role after years of fine support in everything from Gladiator to Pirates of the Caribbean, and he does not waste it. He plays Mahmud, a rounded, unorthodox dad, husband and taxi driver, whose forced adjustment to become “Solly” inspires our sympathy. Assisted by once-hated Jewish neighbour Richard Schiff (The West Wing), his ethnic retraining takes us in a broad comedic direction under director Josh Appignanesi (Song of Songs). But is this knockabout comedy or something more politically questioning? While, say, Solly’s mistaken kippah-burning is actually quite incendiary (no pun intended), it’s potentially undermined by the easy laugh of a comedy bar mitzvah speech that’s straight out of a Richard Curtis movie. It’s full of lively performances (Matt Lucas, Archie Panjabi, Tracy-Ann Oberman), but I for one didn’t buy the convenient ending.
With Jurassic World only a month old, here’s a chance to see where the franchise left off in 2001. Sam Neill returns as sceptical scientist Alan Grant who’s soon back on Isla Sorna and on the run from a monster that makes the T rex look like a gecko.