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Film / Mean Machine

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It's Not Just About Football, It's About Pride Inside!

A 2001 British Crime Sport Comedy film which reunites a lot of the cast members of Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.. It stars Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham, David Kelly, Vas Backwood, Danny Dyer, Jason Flemyng and David Hemmings.

Former football Captain Danny "The Mean Machine" Meehan is sent to Longmarsh Prison to serve three years after drink driving and assaulting a police officer. When he arrives he is brought to the governor who wants Danny to train his amateur team made of up guards, Danny proposes to instead assemble a team made up of his fellow convicts to play against the guards own team.

It is an adaption of the American film The Longest Yard, where the central sport is American football instead of association football.



  • The Captain: Mr. Burton, Sir, is the Captain of the Guard and, true to form, is the fairest and most diplomatic of the screws.
  • The Don: Mr. Sykes is an old-school gangster who essentially runs the prison block and has the governor wrapped around his finger with his illegal bookkeeping and drug smuggling operation.
  • Football Hooligans: Being a football story set in a prison, this is guaranteed with the prisoners who support Danny’s team.
  • Humiliation Conga: The cruel and racist Mr. Ratchett is the target of much of the convicts' shenanigans during the match, whether it be treading on his dodgy knee, getting a football to the crotch twice, before finally being crippled by Monk (the last action being gloriously performed to the bagpipe section of Carnaval De Paris)!
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: HMP Broadhurst, where Monk was transferred from and where Nitro was sent and otherwise has a feared reputation among the convicts. Even if you don't know that it's a reference to Broadmoor psychiatric hospital (which despite its high security, is not a prison), the name has a harsh sound to it compared to HMP Longmarsh and especially HMP Silver Sands.
  • Insane Equals Violent:
    • The Monk has a reputation for being an Ax-Crazy character who killed 28 people with his bare hands (before he took up karate!), feared by both the cons and the guards.
    • Nitro is also very much Ax-Crazy with a very short temper, and he's bomb-crazy to boot, killing Doc with a bomb meant for Danny.
  • The Old Convict: The elderly Doc is at least a generation older than all the other convicts (except maybe Mr. Sykes) and has been in prison for a large portion of his life. He shows Danny Meehan the ropes of prison life. It's revealed he threw an army surplus grenade at a rival's house sometime after World War II, but due to circumstances he didn't know about and had no control over (the front door being barricaded with furniture that prevented the fire brigade from getting inside), the resulting fire ended up killing his young daughter, something he is deeply regretful about (he's brought to tears when he relays the story to Danny). He gets killed by Nitro by a bomb that was meant for Danny, but before he died he did one last action for the team: negotiate with Mr. Sykes to get the cons quality football strips for the big game.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Compared to the other guards, the Captain of the Guard, Mr. Burton, Sir, is largely fair and diplomatic and isn't violent unlike Mr. Ratchett. He also stands up to the governor and protects Danny Meehan when he threatens to sabotage the latter's parole because he ultimately refused to throw the game.

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