4 out of 10

Release Date: 27th April 2012

Director: Sacha Bennett: (We Still Kill The Old WayGet Lucky / Bonded By Blood)

Cast: Bob Hoskins, Calum MacNab, Phil Davis, Jenny Agutter, Emily Atack, Adam Deacon, Terry Stone, Jason Maza, Dudley Sutton, Kate Magowan, Perry Benson, Richard Blackwood, Monserrat Lombard, Mark Cooper Harris, Rebecca Ferdinando, Linda Robson with Vincent Regan and Rita Tushingham

Writer: Nigel Smith


MV5BMTgzOTUxMzY3MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDk2MDc2Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_Does anybody out there remember the 1980s? I don’t think anyone involved with the making of Outside Bet was old enough to have been alive back then. I was and I can tell you we didn’t all sit around in brown over jackets having pub sing-songs and listening to Mario Lanza on a wind up phonograph. Set in the wrong decade, Outside Bet is a reasonably good attempt at trying to recapture the telly programmes of the 60s and 70s that we used to live off in the 80s. That’s about all it’s got in common with the day-glo decade. That major whinge out the way, I’ll continue.

A bunch of printers buy a racehorse in the 1980s. Some of them are up for redundancy and other’s aren’t. Old lag, Threads (PHIL DAVIS – DOUGH) is dying and it’s his last dying wish to part own a racehorse. So the likely lads buy The Mumper and try to take their minds of the impending strikes.

This aims to be 2012‘s answer to Spotswood, Brassed Off or Made In Dagenham but it suffers from a terminally dull plotline and a large dose of sleepwalking acting. There’s a real mix of talent as reliable old hands like Davis, Bob Hoskins (MONA LISA), Dudley Sutton (TIN) and Jenny Agutter (CAPTAIN AMERICA 2) sail through the rote material with ease, whilst younger players like Callum MacNab (COMEDOWN) and Adam Deacon (TO DREAM) make heavy weather of stock characters. MacNab’s lead is played with a tin ear and stone shoes. He was farily good in The Firm remake but here he says all his lines like he’s a cockney ‘speak and spell’.  With such a charmless lead, the film just plods around in search of an ounce of charm.

Bob Hoskins appeared in his fair share of shit of the years, so it’s a shame to report that his last released film is an another ‘also-ran’. Flat jokes, naff-songs from a different decade and a lack of common sense make for a disappointing film. I’ve seen it twice now – the second time was to remind myself of what happened as it’s so slight.

Fans of Britpic stalwarts like Deacon, Terry Stone (SHANK), Vincent Regan (THE LONDON FIRM) and Jason Maza (FISH TANK) may be interested in seeing them in an easy going ‘comedy’ (none of the jokes fly) as opposed to terrorising everyone in a gangster / football flick, but other than that it’s nothing to write home about.

3.5 out of 10 – RIP Bob Hoskins – not the swansong we were expecting. Ealing it ain’t.



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