Starring: Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, David Hemmings
Director: Barry Skolnick
Running Time: 99 mins
Mean Machine is a British film about a disgraced football superstar who is sent to prison, and there, he takes control of a team of his inmates, preparing them for the game of their lives against the brutal and oppressive prison guards.
Well, as with all sports films, this was quite a predictable one. In comparison to something like Escape To Victory, at least it had some more comedic elements to it, but it was such a clichéd, 50/50 story that I wasn’t especially impressed with it overall.
To start, I’ll say that as a whole, this film aimed way too high. After presenting what seemed like a crime-related story, with a bit of sport woven in, it took a turn towards comedy and a more light-hearted plot, but then returned on various occasions to being much more serious, which seemed to be the overall intention of the film, to have an interesting and grungy story, before it changed to a fun, cheesy football film.
That constant change in atmosphere did annoy me somewhat, however the comedy within was really good fun, with numerous funny characters, ridiculous scenes and dialogue, along with a few good Shawshank references chucked in there for good measure. So on a scene-by-scene basis, this film was quite good and entertaining.
Obviously, the story ended up with that last-minute, ‘will he score/won’t he score?’ tense moment, which is just so overdone that it becomes depressingly boring to watch eventually, so because of that amongst other things, overall, I’ll give this a 6.8.