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Despite some genuine wit, this crowd pleaser is filled with too many cliches. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In a rough-and-tumble British prison, where murderers, thieves and assorted madmen are locked away, inmate Danny Meehan (Vinnie Jones) is about to lead them all in the ultimate battle of their degenerate lives -- but no one could have guessed it would be a soccer match! Now, in an all-out playoff against the despised guards, the prisoners' goal isn't just to make goals; it's to prove the indomitable nature of the spirit, no matter how much it gets kicked, bloodied or knocked around.

Cast & Crew

David Hemmings
The Governor
Danny Dyer
Billy the Limpet
Alex Barber
Director of Photography
Russell De Rozario
Production Designer
John Murphy
Composer
Chris Baker
Writer
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Critic Reviews for Mean Machine

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (37)

Audience Reviews for Mean Machine

  • May 07, 2016
    A proper British film made only for us, I've read allot of comments saying how it's terrible because it's too English. Well yeah because it's an English film, It's our version of The longest Yard, These Americans need to remember they are not the only country that make films, The film itself is very funny, Jason Statham as a psychotic Scotsman was brilliant, I thought the main football match at the end could of been better but it's still a good film with a great easy to like cast.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2015
    One of Vinnie Jones early performances where the world had not yet tired of his gritty, cockney, tough guy act. Yet shockingly this movie isn't about Jones being an unstoppable tough guy, it kinda is him being a tough guy though, just not the dialog free tough guy he usually is. In this remake of US movie 'The Longest Yard' Jones plays the main role which does actually require some genuine acting on his part. Not a great deal of course, lets not get carried away here, but some emotion is required and displayed. The plot is a simple one, Danny Meehan is a top football (soccer) player fallen from grace. Done for match fixing, then caught drink driving, followed by an assault on two police officers. In prison he makes friends and enemies as you would expect, but its the prison guards and warden who are the real problem unsurprisingly. So to fix this solution, Meehan manages to organise himself as a coach for the inmates, so they can have a match against the guards, because that's just what you do in these types of situations. The perfect way to defuse all hostilities amongst everyone, problem solved. I mean honesty...what could go wrong? I think its pretty obvious not to expect a classy emotional drama here, this isn't award winning stuff. However, I do think its obvious to expect every single tiny prison cliche in the prison movie book. For starters Jones is pretty much playing himself here, when he played professional footie he was of course the tough nut (the Brit footie fans will be well aware of this), and here he plays a tough nut footballer, with a slice of emotion, but essentially its just Vinnie Jones. The prison is your standard British board and lodgings, typically looks a bit old school, almost like going to a boarding school of sorts, not that I know about that. The guards are of course a mean, abusive bunch, the gov is corrupt, and you have the stereotypical array of prisoners. The happy-go-lucky guy, the rasta type guy, the nut job, the psycho, the fat Middle Eastern guy, the wise old Irishman, and the head honcho with his personal enforcers. Needless to say its kinda obvious who does what, who says what, who gets beaten, who gets done in and what happens every step of the way. The cast are the shining light here though, its like putting a Guy Ritchie flick, a Matthew Vaughn flick and a Nick Love flick in a blender, and this is the result. You have virtually everyone from British comedy, film and drama here, Jason Statham (with more hair!), Danny Dyer, Ralph Brown, Vas Blackwood, Robbie Gee, Geoff Bell, Jason Flemyng and Omid Djalili. You're literately only missing Tamer Hassan, Dexter Fletcher, Frank Harper and Alan Ford for a full house. I don't even have to explain the characters they play, you can pretty much guess, Geof Bell is obviously a nasty guard, Brown is the head warden and the rest are a colourful collection of cockney inmates (what else). Its the films mood that swings from one extreme to the other and confuses you. Naturally the film isn't a serious drama, but it does have moments of realism that aren't anything to laugh at, nothing horrific or gory, but emotional and at times slightly cold. Again this does tie in with other Brit flicks by the directors I've mentioned, the movie has that edgy, twitchy side to it where you know anything could happen and it could be nasty. Yet at the same time its almost like a farce or spoof at times, with slapstick comedy, some characters are mischievous buffoons. Take Statham's supposed maniac character, he looks the part and for most of the movie you think he will do something violent, but he ends up being part of the comedic relief. On the other hand, one inmate character called Nitro clearly starts off as a bit of comedic relief, but towards the end he becomes a scary, dangerous and intense character. This guy seemed like he belonged in a Daniel Day-Lewis drama. A definite rollercoaster for your emotions which kinda works at times, ultimately feels very British (duh) and also kinda cheap looking. Nothing special to offer, nothing really new, but it does fit snugly into that now well known British cockney geezer flick genre, made famous by Guy Ritchie. So if you like that kinda thing then I'm sure you'll get a kick outta this (pun intended). It just about does enough to keep engaged...mainly to see Jones acting skills, and maybe the odd cameo by the odd ex-footie players. Bizarrely the director actually tries to portray Jones as some sort of super skilled ex-footie star in this movie, he does realise actual British football fans will probably watch this right?
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 03, 2015
    This is a fairly agreeable, if unimpressive, remake of The Longest Yard. The fact that the movie is a crowd pleaser, and it is an unabashed crowd pleaser at that, does not mean that this is a good film. The fact that the cons beat the guards during the climactic game, as satisfying as it once, featuring some funny lines from the commentators (easily the comedic highlight of the film), that doesn't mean that the film prior to the soccer game, which felt a little undramatic, was any good. The story is pretty much missable. You don't invest in it at any moment in time, while Vinnie Jones plays a likable type, probably for the first time in his career, and does a good job at it. He doesn't come across like he's trying too hard to be a likable guy, but you don't really care that much about the character to be honest. He's just there as plot device, to move the story forward. And, really, that's essentially what every main character is. They're a plot device to get from point A, which is the start, to point B, which is the end of the film. It's just that it's incredibly transparent in this film that that's what Danny Meehan is. His personality consists of beign a former soccer player and major celebrity that sold out his country during a match with Germany. He's fallen from grace at the beginning of the film before he ends up in prison. That's essentially all the development the character undergoes. He doesn't change, in any way, shape, or form. He's the same character at the end that he is at the beginning. I think that's probably one of the worst things a film could do. How are you supposed to care for a character when you don't seen any actual change. I suppose he learned to be selfless at the end, but that's only minimal because it's not like he was being a selfish asshole throughout most of the film. The film's highlights, outside of the commentators during the game, are Jason Statham as the Monk and...that's about it really. The movie isn't, honestly, that bad. It's just one that's content to play it safe and go the cliched route rather than try something different with a worn-out formula. It was not to be apparently. It's easier to do that than take a risk and fall flat on your face. Of course, you COULD play it safe and also fall on your face as well. But I guess distributors will take chances with films they know can be a big hit. I don't know, but it doesn't seem to me that this was that big of a film. But that's just me. Not bad, watchable enough, but you wouldn't be missing anything if you decided to skip this movie and give Dead Snow 2 a shot instead. Not fair to compare the two, but Dead Snow 2 was great. Watch that instead.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2011
    Before acting Vinnie Jones was actually a tough football player playing for the English Football League in the U.K who leapt to fame when a photographer caught him grabbing Paul Gascoigne by his testicles. It will therefore come to no surprise then how totally believable he is here as Danny Meehan, a former professional player who gets busted for fixing an international soccer game and then assaulting police. Predictably he lands in prison. Whilst there he accepts an offer from the gambling warden to stage a football match between the prisoners and the officers. I had a blast watching this one. It's a no brainer for sure but all of the characters were very amusing and I was thoroughly entertained and absolutely loved Jason Statham as psychotic goalie "Monk." It's a tad repetitive but I guess I never tire of seeing guys getting kneed in the groin oops my bad... <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2iuc02g" target="_blank"><img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/2iuc02g.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=30j4dqu" target="_blank"><img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/30j4dqu.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2uxwx95" target="_blank"><img src="http://i52.tinypic.com/2uxwx95.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=24yv05k" target="_blank"><img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/24yv05k.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2jbl83b" target="_blank"><img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2jbl83b.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=2wexx8i" target="_blank"><img src="http://i51.tinypic.com/2wexx8i.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a> <a href="http://tinypic.com?ref=wh00zq" target="_blank"><img src="http://i53.tinypic.com/wh00zq.jpg" border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic"></a>
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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