Six Minutes To Midnight is set as we head towards the summer of 1939, after which, World War II will be on the way.
Thomas Miller (Eddie Izzard – The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance) is about to be hired by Miss Rocholl (Judi Dench – Murder on the Orient Express (2017)) to teach English to the Augusta-Victoria College For Girls at Bexhill-on-Sea, a class of German girls, and these are the daughters and goddaughters of the Nazi high command… in fact, they’re also what appears to be the ONLY class in the entire school, and since Miller is the only teacher, why do they need such a huge building? Should’ve hired a portacabin.
Also, this led me to think that if I was only learning one lesson at school all day every day, especially with no other staff there, it would get pretty boring.
Maybe they’re cutting down on extraneous cast members and I’m being picky, so getting back on track, Thomas’ connection with all this is that while he’s English, his father was German, so he clearly must love Germans and should get the job. Plus, the vacancy has come up because their previous teacher, Mr. Wheatley (Nigel Lindsay – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa), has mysteriously gone missing…
Well, there’s nothing really mysterious when you’re a spy and the jig is up.
Anyhoo, Thomas is there to help prepare the girls for the Anglo-German fellowship, something that’s happening in a week’s time. I had to look up what this is, but it was something to strengthen positive links between the UK and Germany when the Nazis were on the rise. Naturally, this all fell apart when World War II started.
Of course, Thomas is really there because he’s a spy on the sly, taking pictures of important documents with his mini-camera, for example, but when he gets found out, that’s when it starts to get a little bit on the silly side. Well, a LOT.
At one point, the police are running after Thomas while he’s disguised as a member of an oompah band – which should really be accompanied by the Benny Hill theme, plus more cheesy nonsense, such as police threatening a person helping Thomas by pretending to pour boiling hot water over them from a kettle.
There was also a well-worn cliche when it came to two cops going after Miller, with guns blazing. You’ll know it as soon as you see it. I’ll add it in, under a spoiler banner, after the film has been released.
There’s also double-crossing to the point of banality, and incredibly dodgy CGI as a plane comes in to possibly crash-land, causing one cast member to duck.
Plus, in a final confrontation scene, there’s the most appalling acting I’ve seen that would disgrace most evening soap operas.
To add insult to injury, Six Minutes To Midnight has some mumbled dialogue and, quite often, when I saw Eddie Izzard, all I could see was his make-up glinting in the light. He needed to tone that down a bit.
Oh, and the title refers to a particular government phone number, Whitehall 1154, the relevance of which will be revealed… if you care.
Six Minutes To Midnight is on Sky Cinema from Friday March 26th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 99 minutes
Release date: March 26th 2021
Studio: Sky Cinema
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Director: Andy Goddard
Producers: Andy Evans, Sean Marley, Ade Shannon, Sarah Townsend, Laure Vaysse
Screenplay: Andy Goddard, Eddie Izzard, Celyn Jones
Music: Marc Streitenfeld
Miss Rocholl: Judi Dench
Thomas Miller: Eddie Izzard
Captain Drey: James D’Arcy
Charlie: Jim Broadbent
Ilse Keller: Carla Juri
Mr. Wheatley: Nigel Lindsay
Sergeant Simmons: Kevin Eldon
Colonel Smith: David Schofield
Astrid: Maria Dragus
Jackie: Joe Bone
Gretel: Tijan Marei
Paula: Bianca Nawrath
Beatrix: Franziska Brandmeier
Jo: Maud Druine
Sigrid: Luisa-Céline Gaffron
Leta: Daria Wolf
Aimee: Claire O’Grady
Miriam: Finty Wiliams
Band Leader: Rupert Holliday-Evans
Corporal Willis: Celyn Jones
Stan: Richard Elfyn
Anglo-German VIP: Andrew Byron
Music Hall comedian: Toby Hadoke
Whitehalll Secretary: Nicola Kelleher
Julia: Evie Ward-Drummond
Veronika: Mali Georgina Davies
Elke: Rebecca Beale
Edith: Georgia Reed
Sigrun: Rebecca Thomas
Hilde: Georgia Walsh
Laura: Lydia Blakemore Phillips
Lore: Amy Doubtfire
Iram: Tamika Thomas
Marlis: Adina-Raw Nyahwa
Luzie: Bethany Wooding
Ursula: Molly Owen
Ruth: Poppy Charlton
Elizabeth: Sophia Holmes
Christa: Ellie Watermeyer
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.