Critics have hailed the new biopic of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg as ‘an artistic triumph’. ‘Boz and Moggy’ stars John C. Reilly as Boris and Steve Coogan as Jacob. The two are said to have put an incredibly amount of work into making the characters come to life on the big screen. In fact, it has been suggested that Coogan may even have had part of his soul removed for the Rees-Mogg role.
They have become one of the most iconic comedy duos of the 21st century. In fact who, nowadays, can see a top hat and not feel sick to the stomach at being so graphically reminded of Johnson, Rees-Mogg or the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
We first meet the pair in the film in 2017, at a point where their popularity is waning and their lies have become just routines for the press and die hard fans to cling on to. They are angry that they are not given as much screen time as their Tory counterparts and that their own unique brand of racism and xenophobia is not getting the plaudits and response it once commanded. Their Brexit publicity stunts, including the famous ‘lies on a bus’ sketch have become old hat.
Coogan and Reilly make no attempt to play their roles for laughs – although their routines, notably Johnson on a zip wire and Rees-Mogg eating a working class baby while opposing abortion as a zealous Catholic, are lovingly presented and executed. Instead, we are given the sad image of anxious and serious politicians trying in vain to make a return to their glory days.
The film does not try to cast aspersions on their legacy, but tries to celebrate it for what it really is: a couple of has-beens who vainly still think they have a future to play in British politics, despite the fine mess they have gotten Britain into.