Director Cattaneo's follow-up to The Full Monty is set in a remote prison where the inmates are preparing a show as a smoke screen for an escape: a good excuse for another blokey bonding session, less so for the bland heterosexual romance at the film's heart. It's a tale of love across the divide, with cocky upstart Jimmy (Nesbitt) rightly accusing support officer Annabel (Williams) of talking crap before falling for her in rehearsals. What is surprising is how little dramatic tension surrounds even the escape; the film aims for low key, but limps, each character either following a predictable trajectory or remaining in total stasis. The clichés are strictly televisual: pompous governor, camp fraudster, clueless bleeding-heart drama teacher - it's assumed we know and like these people from the TV prison sitcom Porridge. There's a general laziness and complacency in the air, and the gags are guilty as charged.
Cast and crew