PUT together the rascals of The Lavender Hill Mob from the famous Ealing Comedy stable, the thick as thieves collective in John Cleese's 'A Fish Called Wanda' and add just a hint of Jim Carrey's 'Dumb and Dumber' and you will get a flavour of this thoroughly modern but very British caper comedy.
Steve Coogan, the man of many faces and voices, sticks to just one in the person of bike-riding probation officer Simon Garden.
He's likeable but irritating. He's no heart throb but very ordinary and appealing in his own limited way - he's the type of person who you can cope with in small doses.
Steve co-wrote the fast-paced comedy with collaborator Henry Normal and it's full of Mr C's trademark talent - fleshing out characters who are out of their depth in all walks of life.
We meet Simon as he is awaiting a job transfer enforced upon him by his superiors.
He is sent to Manchester where he immediately ends up embroiled in a case involving a young joy-rider.
A bent copper then tries to frame poor Simon for a gangland murder. Enter some graphic gags regarding Mafia styled head-hunting
Simon realises that the actual deed was captured on CCTV video film which, if he can get it out of a bank vault, will eventually clear his name.
So Simon, aided by four crooks he has genuinely helped in his career, sets out to take part in the heist of the century.
Emma Williams turns from a scary arsonist to a warm and loyal team member and a great getaway driver, too.
A beautiful PC called Emma (Lena Headey) falls for Simon's limited charms while he bumbles his way through a maze of mishaps.
There are some memorable falling-over scenes, but the highlight is the fun at Blackpool. After eating some Indian food Simon goes on a big dipper rollercoaster to discuss his bank robbery plans in secret.
This is one of the funniest moments on screen since Mr Creosote had one mint chocolate too may in Monty Python's 'Meaning Of Life'.
At one stage you feel you are actually on the roller coaster thanks to stunning camera work.
Fortunately we are not the ones sitting behind Simon as he doesn't exactly curry favour with a group of school children.
Later, at a fracas at an art exhibition featuring a graphic fertility sculpture, Simon manages to end up hiding in the Ladies and this is where lavatorial humour of the 'Dumb and Dumber' variety enters the proceedings.
Simon is like Mr Bean on acid: a failure with attitude but with admirable optimism.
Steve did all his own stunts in Liverpool and Manchester where it was filmed. The 'Mission Impossible' spoofs are enjoyable throughout.
The story never lets up for a moment with surprise cameo role by a Hollywood superstar as well as Jenny Agutter, forever an English rose figure.
Fans of Steve Coogan will relish the chance to see him in a fully-fleshed out role with a very upbeat ending.
The soundtrack featuring David Bowie, Supertramp and Atomic Kitten also blends wonderfully into the background.
'The Parole Officer' is a fine starring role for Steve Coogan and you know that on this showing alone this modern-day Pink Panther can only get better and better.