Vinnie Jones' quest for a Hollywood career continues with this prison football drama. Based on the 1974 American football movie - which starred the notorious W.I.G. (Burt Reynolds) - this modern day version sees soccer's favourite hardman play Danny 'Mean Machine' Meeham. Completely stretching credulity, Meehan was once the captain of the English soccer team, but after an assault on a police officer, he was sent down for some three years. Once inside, the governor (David Hemmings) recognises that Meeham could be a valuable asset to his semi-professional prison guards' team and wants him to take over as coach. In a bid to remain on the right side of both his fellow detainees and the authorities, Meeham proposes a match between prisoner and the guards. Hilarity ensues. Well, hilarity should ensue, but The Mean Machine is hardly going to be remembered for its nuance or thoughtful delivery. Predictable, ham fisted gags are haphazardly thrown into the badly paced narrative, the director, Barry Skolnick seems to have little idea of what to do with his underwritten characters while the performances are, to a man, abysmal. There are a couple of chuckle worthy moments, but The Mean Machine is strictly for the hardcore footie fan.
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