Mean Machine (2001)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


Mean Machine (2001) Poster

A soccer star jailed for assault leads a group of inmates in a match against prison guards.


6.5/10
33,430

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  • Mean Machine (2001)
  • Mean Machine (2001)
  • Vinnie Jones and Danny Dyer in Mean Machine (2001)
  • Mean Machine (2001)
  • Vinnie Jones in Mean Machine (2001)

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22 September 2004 | StayinFrosty
Not a bad football/soccer and prison film
Based on the 1974 American movie, The Longest Yard, Mean Machine is about an ex-pro footballer/soccer player who is sent to prison. Hated at first, he gains friends when he begins to coach an all-convict soccer team against the prison guards' already-established team.

I haven't seen the original so I can't compare them but I found Mean Machine pretty enjoyable. Vinnie Jones does a good job as Danny Meehan and it's nice to see him in a role where he's not the scary one. I liked the subtle humour as well, from Massive's ironic name to the unpredictable Monk (the crazy "Scot even the Scots are afraid of" - convincingly played by Jason Statham) to the pair of commentators, Bob and Bob at the final match.

The DVD I saw included audio tracks for both the original UK theatrical release and the "domestic" (i.e. American) release. After watching the original, I learned that the American had a few words re-dubbed to make the language easier to understand for these audiences. I then watched the second version and didn't find much of a difference between the two. There were some things that the character Nitro said that were noticeably re-dubbed (which didn't help much considering the way he shouts!) and a few slang terms were changed to more international expressions. I think some reviewers of this film may have been unaware of this and so complained about the more obvious dubbing.

The only one I actually found helpful was when a character says he's in prison "for [an abbreviation]." I didn't catch what he said and the American version replaced the letters with "assault and battery." I found one change a bit puzzling though: Mr. Sykes gives the governor of the prison tips for horse racing, writing letters next to his choices on a newspaper. After losing money on a false winner ("W"), Sykes explains to the governor that "it got smudged in the rain. It says EW: either way." This was changed to "EW: to place." I thought the original was quite clear and the new one no longer matches the letters.

Overall, it's not a bad film. I liked it enough to watch it twice and if you like football/soccer and prison films, there aren't many that combine the two to choose from.

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