Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (8)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (6)
| Rotten (2)
There's more than one elephant crammed into the room during this sympathetic but insufficient footballing portrait.
The movie is very much a celebration of a rare English footballing genius.
Gazza, the Geordie football genius who lived on a proverbial diet of brown ale and Mars bars, is just as you would expect: engaging, mischievous, funny but also haunted and sometimes just a little bit prey to self-pity.
Preston must be commended highly for making such a tender feature, studying the highs and lows, but revelling predominantly in the former.
It feels like a missed opportunity.
A telling portrait of a decent and likeable man who ultimately was too emotionally immature to cope with the twin pressures of fame and fortune.
It's heartening to see those old crowdpleasing instincts return when discussing, say, that Vinnie Jones photo. For the first time in years, Gazza is allowed to express himself as only he could.
An entertaining 90 minutes for the football-inclined, but it doesn't transcend its subject matter à la Senna.
Paul Gascoigne has a special place in my affections for many reasons. One was during Euro 96 when we (England) played Scotland at Wembley in the Group stage and he scored that famous goal. Around that time I had not long met a girl and she was going away on holiday with some friends and her train was set to leave around kick off time. At the beginning things were exciting and sexy (as they tend to be) and in a fit of stupidness I agreed to see her off. I regretted this brain burp immediately as it meant me missing the game but for some reason unbeknown to me I was prepared to sacrifice. To cut a long story short the holiday didn't happen and I ended up watching the game at hers and afterwards I was so over the moon that I had got to watch it. One of the best times of my life, upon reflection I was way too easily impressed back then. There is now forever an unbreakable association between that goal and that time in my life and Gazza was responsible for this.
Personal stories aside this documentary is moving at times but felt like it could have been so much more. For me, what makes Gazza is his flaws and his vulnerability and this is more evident in him now than ever before. In this one to one interview there was too much emphasis on the successes and not enough about the disappointments. For example, his unceremonious dumping from the World Cup squad in 98 was hardly touched upon to my recollection yet that episode in his life might be responsible for so much of what has come to pass. There's also very little about his time away from England in Italy and Scotland other than celebrating a goal by performing the sash. I would have liked to learnt some more about this and how he coped (or didn't) with that chapter of his life.
What made us love him as a nation was that he was me and you, he was the boy next door that we could relate to him. He made stupid mistakes in the same way that we all do and had also suffered some shocking tragedies. But allied with the flaws came the genius on the pitch. The care free attitude and a spontaneity that few possess in Sport. What this doc does have are some nice tributes from some very prominent people within the game. His influence on players like Wayne Rooney are there for all to see when he speaks about him.
An interesting look at one of England's greatest ever football players and perhaps letting us see him as he really is. Whilst some of the footage is reused a little too often you cannot help but clearly see how much of an impact Paul Gascoigne had on the English game. Arguably the greatest player that England has ever had.
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