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"MEAN MACHINE"
(2002) (Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Mild Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Mild None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme None Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy/Drama: A former soccer star leads his fellow inmates in a soccer match versus the prison guards in this remake of "The Longest Yard."
PLOT:
Danny "Mean Machine" Meehan (VINNIE JONES) is a former soccer star who fell from grace for throwing a game and has now just been sentenced to several years for drunk driving and assaulting two police officers. Incarcerated in a prison that's run by head guard Burton (RALPH BROWN) and his two sadistic guards Ratchett (GEOFF BELL) and Hayter (NICK MOSS) - who all work for the warden known as The Governor (DAVID HEMMINGS) - Danny tries to lay low and do his time.

Yet, his fame and notoriety precede him, especially with his cellmate, Trojan (ROBBIE GEE), who wants nothing to do with him. Fortunately, the prison's veteran con, Doc (DAVID KELLY), shows Danny the ropes and the major power players. There's Sykes (JOHN FORGEHAM), a middle-aged prisoner who unofficially runs the place and has various business relationships with the Governor; Nitro (STEPHEN WALTERS), a deranged and edgy con desperate to get out; and Massive (VAS BLACKWOOD), the prison's supply man.

It's not long before Danny learns that the Governor wants him to coach the guards' soccer team, something Burton is adamantly against. Danny turns him down to save his own hide, but after spending some time in solitary, he takes Massive's advice and proposes that he coach the prisoners in a game versus the guards.

The Governor reluctantly agrees and from that point on, and as various inmates try out for the team, such as meek Billy the Limpet (DANNY DYER), or are specifically recruited for their "skills," such as the Monk (JASON STATHAM), a prisoner not even the guards want to tangle with, Danny tries to assemble a worthy team to take on the guards and get some on-field payback.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, soccer, or the original film, "The Longest Yard," it's probably not very likely this film will be on most kids' "must see" lists.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VINNIE JONES plays a former soccer star who blew his good lifestyle by some drunk driving and assaulting police officers. Sent to prison, he ends up being the inmates' coach and main player in a soccer match with the guards. He also uses some strong profanity and apparently has sex with a female secretary.
  • JASON STATHAM plays the psychotic inmate that no one - guard or prisoner - wants to cross and who eventually becomes the team's goalie. He occasionally becomes rather violent with others.
  • VAS BLACKWOOD plays an inmate who becomes the team manager and works closely with Danny.
  • GEOFF BELL plays a sadistic guard who isn't above beating the prisoners. He also uses strong profanity.
  • NICK MOSS plays his partner who has the same characteristics.
  • JOHN FORGEHAM plays an older inmate who unofficially runs the place and initially proves to be Danny's nemesis.
  • RALPH BROWN plays the head prison guard and team captain of the guard's soccer team who initially seems quite mean and sadistic, but turns out not to be as corrupt as initially thought.
  • DAVID HEMMINGS plays the prison's corrupt and debt-ridden "Governor" (warden) who wants his team to win and does various unscrupulous things to try to make sure that happens.
  • DAVID KELLY plays an older, veteran inmate who befriends Danny.
  • ROBBIE GEE plays another inmate who joins Danny's team, smokes and uses some profanity.
  • DANNY DYER plays a meek inmate who's Danny's last big fan and desperately wants to play with and for him in the big game.
  • STEPHEN WALTERS plays another psychotic inmate who tries to side with anyone who might get him out and is responsible for another man's death (while trying to kill someone else). He uses strong profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy/drama. Profanity consists of at least 56 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Violence includes a person being killed by an off-screen explosion, various fights and numerous instances of people purposefully punching, striking or otherwise hitting others with the intent of harming them.

    Some of that violence has bloody results, while those who deliver it (inmates, guards and administrators) have varying degrees of bad attitudes. An inmate and a female secretary fool around before apparently having off-screen sex, various characters smoke and/or drink, while some drug references and smuggling are present, as is some imitative behavior.

    If the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home still has you concerned, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific examples of the content that's present and/or occurs in the picture.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • After seeing one of his promotional commercials, Danny mocks it by saying they mean "license to get hammered" and we see him drinking, and then drinking liquor while driving in another scene. He then parks on the sidewalk and goes into another bar (where others drink and he orders a large whiskey).
  • Various characters smoke small and slender cigarettes that may be filled with marijuana (as they don't look like traditional cigarettes), but the contents are never divulged.
  • There's talk that people are smuggling drugs into the prison in the form of acid on strips from crossword puzzles and that Sykes is profiting from that.
  • Danny and another inmate appear to drink liquor during a fight where they each take turns punching each other (thus giving them time to drink between punches).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • As two men in prison fight in a bare-knuckle boxing match, we see blood on their hands and bodies.
  • We hear a prisoner urinating.
  • Danny cleans up what's apparently some human excrement that was thrown out into the yard by one of the prisoners.
  • Danny's face is bloody after an inmate cuts him, while another man has a bloody nose/mouth after being hit there.
  • Danny and another inmate are rather bloody during a fight.
  • Monk punches another inmate in the nose, resulting in it being bloody.
  • A player has some blood from his nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • While inebriated, Danny drinks and drives, eludes the police, makes fun of the height of one officer and then strikes him and another officer who follow him into a bar.
  • We hear that Danny was guilty of match fixing (of games he played in) in the past.
  • The guards display mean/bad attitudes toward the prisoners, including Danny. In addition, they use violence to get their points across to them, and Ratchett refers to a black prisoner as a "monkey."
  • Other prisoners initially have bad attitudes toward Danny, although some of them eventually lose them.
  • We hear that Monk reportedly killed 23 people before the story starts.
  • One inmate conspires with anyone, including Ratchett, as a weasel, in an attempt to get out of prison. He also tries to set up Danny to look bad to the other inmates, and then tries to kill him (but gets someone else instead).
  • We hear that Doc killed several people, including an infant, in the past.
  • The Governor puts pressure on Danny to throw the game or else face some serious, but faked charges. For a while, Danny complies with that and thus lets down his team.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, but many are played with some degree of comedy to them.
  • After we see one inmate plant a bomb intended for another inmate, a third goes to the second's cell (where we know he's going to set off the explosive unknowingly).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Explosive Soccer ball: Briefly seen in a program in which Danny appears as an actor.
  • Knife: Used by an inmate to threaten and then cut Danny on his face.
  • Explosive: Planted as a bomb and used to kill an inmate.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to strong accents and/or slang, some of the film's dialogue could not be understood. That said, we did hear the following phrases: "I don't f*cking like you," "Don't you f*cking get smart with me," "It's a f*cking disgrace," "F*ck me" (nonsexual), "F*ck off," "I don't give a f*ck," "You're f*cked," "For f*ck's sake," "F*ck 'em," "Abso-f*cking-lutely," "Where the f*ck are you?" "Sit the f*ck down," "That's all we f*cking need," "I'm going to f*cking ruin your life," "Sh*t house," "Pissed" (drunk), "D*ckhead," "Bitch," "Piss," "Freak," "Losers," "My ass (is on the line)," "Hurts like a bastard," "You're becoming a sentimental old fart," "Bloody" (adjective), "(Cheeky) Bastards," "Piss off," "What the hell /do you think you're doing/is going on?" and "You fat bastard."
  • At the beginning of the film, we see Danny drinking and driving, and eluding the police.
  • Various prisoners have tattoos on different parts of their bodies.
  • A female secretary has a pierced nose (with a ring through one nostril).
  • Danny agrees to fight another inmate where they're seated across a small table from each other with two of their hands tied together. They're then supposed to take turns punching each other with their free hands until the last one conscious wins. They also appear to drink liquor between the punching.
  • A person appears to make the male oral sex gesture (with his hand and mouth).
  • Danny gives a guard "the finger."
  • While showing how to inflict pain on the guards while playing in their game and getting away with it, various inmates do just that to another smaller inmate (stomping down on his foot, hitting him in the face with an elbow, kicking him in the crotch, pulling his arm hairs while picking him up off the ground). We then see a quick succession of him being hit or grabbed in various ways.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to strong accents and/or slang, some of the film's dialogue could not be understood. That said, we did hear the following: At least 56 "f" words (with another one silently mouthed), 6 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ckhead"), 6 uses of "bollocks," 5 asses, 3 hells, 1 crap, 1 wanker, 2 uses of "Christ" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes" and "Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Ratchett makes a comment about a prisoner finding a new "bum chum."
  • In exchange for showing Danny a videotape of the guards' soccer games, a female secretary wants sex from him. They start to undress and passionately kiss while standing, and she then informs him that it's "strictly sex" and that she's not going to respect him afterwards. We then see her going down toward his crotch, but the scene ends there (although it's implied that they have sex).
  • We see a large inmate in his underwear in the locker room.
  • After Ratchett is hit in the crotch with a soccer ball, an announcer states that's not good for Mr. Ratchett, with another adding it's not good for Mrs. Ratchett either.
  • SMOKING
  • Various characters smoke small and slender cigarettes that may be filled with marijuana (as they don't look like traditional cigarettes), but the contents are never divulged. Beyond that, Trojan smokes at least 10 times, Sykes and another inmate each smoke around five times (Sykes once with a cigar), Doc smokes a few times and various other miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Life in prison.
  • Whether such a match (between guards and inmates) would ever be allowed in such a prison.
  • Comments about Danny having everything and throwing it all away (and thus ending up in prison).
  • That the prisoners learn they must work as a team to win.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In some sort of promotional commercial/program, Danny kicks a soccer ball that then hits a car and explodes.
  • While drunk, Danny assaults two police officers (backhanding one and punching the other) who then grab and punch him in the gut.
  • As two men in prison fight in a bare-knuckle boxing match, we see blood on their hands and bodies.
  • A guard strikes Danny in the crotch with his nightstick.
  • Another prisoner grabs Danny by the face and the two start to struggle, but guards break up the ensuing pushing, etc. by spraying some sort of spray into Danny's face and then throw him into a solitary confinement cell.
  • Ratchett grabs Massive by the shirt in a menacing fashion.
  • Ratchett repeatedly hits Massive with his nightstick. Danny then rushes up and slams Ratchett against a wall, with other guards then grabbing and struggling with him.
  • Ratchett menacingly grabs an inmate.
  • An inmate grabs Danny in the bathroom and holds his arm behind his back with his arm around Danny's neck. Another inmate then threatens Danny with a knife, holding it close to his face. He then cuts his face (with bloody results), but Danny then head-butts the man behind him and then knocks the other man down.
  • Danny agrees to fight another inmate where they're seated across a small table from each other with two of their hands tied together. They're then supposed to take turns punching each other with their free hands until the last one conscious wins. They exchange punches and the other inmate then cheats and head-butts Danny before more punches are thrown.
  • During soccer practice, various inmates accidentally and purposefully run into each other, while others violently trip others.
  • Monk punches another inmate in the nose.
  • While showing how to inflict pain on the guards while playing in their game and getting away with it, various inmates do just that to another smaller inmate (stomping down on his foot, hitting him in the face with an elbow, kicking him in the crotch, pulling his arm hairs while picking him up off the ground). We then see a quick succession of him being hit or grabbed in various ways.
  • An explosion (from a planted bomb) kills an inmate (we don't see the actual death).
  • Various players on both sides are knocked down during the match. In addition, an inmate steps down on a guard's leg, while a soccer ball is purposefully kicked into a guard's crotch (causing him pain). The latter then happens again.
  • More players are then hit, with one guy head-butting another behind him.
  • Monk fantasizes about hitting, punching and otherwise striking many guards during the game (we see the visualization of it).
  • Various players on both sides punch each other.
  • We see some more fighting and struggling between guards and inmates on the playing field.
  • Monk purposefully kicks an opposing player.
  • Monk purposefully kicks Ratchett in the leg, and Massive then goes over and pushes on the injury with his hand to inflict some more pain.
  • There's a large explosion outside the prison wall.



  • Reviewed February 22, 2002 / Posted March 8, 2002

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