Mean Machine

( 4 )

Overview

The classic Burt Reynolds football-behind-bars flick The Longest Yard crosses the pond and gets an appropriate British accent in the process in this rough-and-tumble mixture of sports and action-comedy. Danny Mehan (Vinnie Jones) was one of the biggest stars in British football (what Americans call soccer), until he was caught rigging a game during a championship tournament. In the wake of this scandal, Danny's career takes a nosedive and his life spins out of control, until he finally ends up in prison for three...
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Overview

The classic Burt Reynolds football-behind-bars flick The Longest Yard crosses the pond and gets an appropriate British accent in the process in this rough-and-tumble mixture of sports and action-comedy. Danny Mehan (Vinnie Jones) was one of the biggest stars in British football (what Americans call soccer), until he was caught rigging a game during a championship tournament. In the wake of this scandal, Danny's career takes a nosedive and his life spins out of control, until he finally ends up in prison for three years on an assault and battery conviction. Danny discovers there are a number of football fans behind bars who still hate him for fixing the game, but Danny has one powerful fan in this prison. The warden (David Hemmings) is a devoted football supporter with a taste for gambling; he's been trying to assemble a semi-pro team comprised of the prison's guards, but Danny is just smart enough to know this would seal his fate with his fellow prisoners. Instead, he offers to put together a team of inmates, who can play practice games against the guards. A new inmate, Sykes (John Forgeham), gets wind of Danny's idea and arranges an exhibition match between Danny's new team and the guards, though Sykes' motivation is more than just good fun. A powerful bookie, Sykes lost a fortune on the game Danny threw, and expects betting to be heavy for this game. If Danny and his men win, Sykes could make back the fortune he lost, but if the guards come out ahead, Danny's goose is cooked. Can Danny turn a gang of losers, misfits, and violent psychopaths -- including muscle-bound lunatic Monk (Jason Statham), creepy but loyal Billy the Limpit (Danny Dyer), tough guy Massive (Vas Blackwood), pyromaniac Nitro (Robbie Gee), and enthusiastic but out-of-shape Raj (Omid Djalili) -- into a proper team with a fighting chance of winning? Mean Machine was produced by Matthew Vaughn, who was also behind Guy Ritchie's tough-but-stylish crime comedies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Star Vinnie Jones, by the way, enjoyed a career as a professional footballer in Great Britain before turning to acting.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Derivative, brutal, pointless, cynical, and stupid, Mean Machine still manages to be fairly entertaining. It's a jazzed up remake of the equally brutal and entertaining, but slightly more complex Robert Aldrich film The Longest Yard. Aldrich, director of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Dirty Dozen, was an original, and The Longest Yard's bone-crunching machismo seemed more earned than it does in Mean Machine, where it sometimes comes off as posturing, not on the part of characters, but on the part of the actors and director. The Longest Yard was a cornerstone of Burt Reynolds' career, and his performance as Paul Crewe holds up as one of his best, because his pretty-boy looks and natural swaggering smarminess makes the other inmates' antagonism easy to understand. There's never really any doubt about Danny Meehan's character in Mean Machine, which gives Meehan a less dynamic arc than Crewe, and makes the film less interesting. Vinnie Jones, as Meehan, is a surprisingly charismatic lead, but unlike Reynolds, he's clearly a rough guy, and from the streets, so the other inmates' initial antagonism doesn't ring true. The film also relies a bit heavily on Guy Ritchie-style editing and camera trickery (it was produced by Ritchie's production company, Ska Films, and shares many cast members with Ritchie's first two films). Still, things move at a swift pace, and one virtue that Mean Machine shares with its predecessor is that they both get the sports stuff right. The long, dirty soccer match that ends the film is its highlight, even though the outcome is never much in doubt.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/4/2003
  • UPC: 097363403937
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vinnie Jones Danny Meehan
Jason Statham Monk
David Kelly Doc
David Hemmings Prison Governor
Vas Blackwood Massive
Jason Flemyng Bob
Danny Dyer Billy The Limpet
Robbie Gee Trojan
John Forgeham Sykes
Andrew Grainger Ketch
Stephen Walters Nitro
Omid Djalili Raj
Ralph Brown Burton
Geoff Bell Ratchet
Sally Phillips Tracey
Technical Credits
Barry Skolnick Director
Chris Baker Screenwriter
Stephanie Collie Costumes/Costume Designer
Gary Davy Casting
Andrew Day Screenwriter
Charles Fletcher Screenwriter
Eddie Hamilton Editor
Simon Hayes Sound/Sound Designer
John Murphy Score Composer
David Reid Asst. Director
Guy Ritchie Executive Producer
Albert S. Ruddy Executive Producer
Matthew Vaughn Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Not Burt Reynolds....

    Much better in my opinion. Now, I love American Football, but I loved this movie more than the original version. Way more. It's witty, funny, and really makes you want to get up and play some Soccer like there guys do it. Great cast, good script, awesome game play, just a really fun movie. It's based on the Original Longest Yard film, so a lot of it is basically the same. But there's enough of a difference to be it's own movie, and plenty to surpass it's predecessor, I think. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I know what your thinking

    A movie about soccer? come on how cool can that be? Damn cool. With Jason Statham and Vinnie Jones in the cast, you can't go wrong. While it is basicly The Longest Yard, I recommend this to fans of the above actors and those who like a few laughs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews