Mean Machine (2001)

“Well get it sorted, ’cause this lad has a bad habit of turning cash flow problems into blood flow problems.” – Sykes

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Mar 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A former soccer player is incarcerated in prison where he is forced to lead a soccer team of convicts in a skirmish against the guards.

My Take on it – As a kid, I watched the original film that this is based on The Longest Yard (1974) numerous times and when I heard this film was remade as a “soccer” movie instead of football, I never really had much of a desire to check it out.

I recently was reminded of this film’s existence, so I decided to give it a chance in order to see if they were able to remake such an iconic film in an enjoyable way.

Unfortunately, this film just doesn’t work as well as the original Burt Reynold’s version since they don’t manage to get the tone of it all right.

The way that the original film took a serious sports film and peppered in a bit of humor and intrigued works quite well, but this film just misses it mark far too often along the way.

Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham are both good actors, but in this film, they both feel too much gimmicks in the roles that they are assigned instead of making us care about what will happen to them.

The story itself pretty much duplicates the plot of the original film and lacks anything really innovative or new in its depiction of things besides the changing of the actual sport itself which just isn’t enough.

Bottom Line – Not the best remake of a classic 70’s film. The original version with Reynold’s is still much more enjoyable because they get the right tone for the humor and the depiction of the sport. Jones and Statham feel more like gimmicks in these roles than they should which hurts things a lot. The story isn’t very different from the original film and in general, the only real change felt is the sport itself which unfortunately just isn’t enough.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Two top billed actors were professional athletes before starting their acting careers. Vinnie Jones was an accomplished British footballer, playing on various teams. He earned a reputation as a, “Hard man”, for his aggressive playing style. Jason Statham was a British National Team diver, finishing 12th in the 1992 world championship. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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