Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, David Hemmings, David Kelly
Widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles.
|With ex-soccer star Vinnie Jones ("Snatch") in the role of arrogant, disgraced footballer Danny Meehan, this British remake of the U.S. film "The Longest Yard" has the advantage of a lead who was built for the part, supported by a crew of superb UK character actors. Meehan, a wealthy, short-tempered prick, is kicked out of the pros because of his involvement in a gambling scandal. Then he runs afoul of the law and ends up being tossed into jail, where he's pressured by the warden (David Hemmings) to coach the guards' semi-pro team. That angers the head guard, who's already in charge of the squad. So Meehan offers to whip his fellow inmates, a balky bunch with a distaste for authority in general and Meehan in particular, into a team that can beat the guards on the soccer field. It's painless, but the feel-good redemption-in-the-pokey saga was spent when it was done with gardening, not sports, in "Greenfingers" which had old David Kelly in the same sage-lifer role he has here.|