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Mean Machine

It's Not Just about Football, It's About Pride Inside! 

Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Dannie Mehan (Vinnie Jones) has everything a great career in football can bring: money, fast cars, and the obligatory stunning wife. What he doesn't have is a great deal of sense, and he blows it all when he fixes a match and ends up imprisoned on a drunken assault charge. Little does he know he's about to lead his fellow inmates in the battle of their lives - and who could have guessed that battle would be a football match?

Mean Machine is a remake of the American The Longest Yard, a Seventies macho sporting classic that starred Burt Reynolds. The plot then, as now, is pretty simple: a disparate bunch of losers is whipped into shape to triumph against the odds. Danny is supposed to coach the wardens' team, but instead proposes that he train some of his fellow cons into a practice opposition side. This sets the scene for a climatic match of prisoners vs. guards that seeks to prove the indomitable nature of the human spirit, no matter how much it gets kicked, knocked or bloodied...

As with most prison films, there is honour among thieves (and murderers, and other poor misunderstood souls) and the guards are the bad guys. The loveable rogue is a staple of British cinema, and it's no surprise to learn that this is a movie from "The team that brought you Lock, Stock and Snatch..." - well, who else is going to give Jones a lead role if not his mates? As long as you aren't demanding Oscar-worthy acting and subtle insight, Mean Machine is a competently crafted piece of entertainment that has more than enough moments to make it worth your time. And what more do you want on a Friday night?

Iphegenia Bright

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Screenings of this film:

2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)
2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)