<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysThis remake of the ballsy Robert Aldrich/Burt Reynolds prison drama The Longest Yard (released in Britain as The Mean Machine) substitutes soccer for American football, but otherwise retains the basic set-up: a disgraced sports star is incarcerated and compelled to lead his fellow inmates in a match against the warders for the entertainment of the governor. The Aldrich yarn was a hell of a movie: amid the crunching violence the director of The Dirty Dozen and Kiss Me Deadly mounted a characteristically no holds barred assault on authoritarianism and petty fascism. The remake is a joke. Fortunately director Skolnick has cottoned on that he was on a hiding to nothing, and after the dire first half hour, he essentially plays it for laughs. Vinnie Jones turns in a very decent performance (easily his most confident to date) as former England skipper Danny Meeham, a national villain after throwing a game. His rehabilitation comes reluctantly, finding some pride as he coaches a bunch of no-hopers for the game of their lives. The supporting cast give it a go too.