5 out of 10

Release Date: 5th March 2010 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Steve Kelly (City Rats)

Cast: Warren Llambias, Dudley Sutton, Matt Daniel-Baker, Malcolm Freeman, Vyelle Croom, Kelly Johnston, Tom Gilling, John Barnes, Tony Denham, Ben Shockley, Tom Bonington with Neil Maskell and Craig Fairbrass

Writer: Warren Llambias and Matt Daniel-Baker


shouting_menHere we go again. Up and Under, The Full Monty, The Match and The Magnificent Eleven all have a lot to answer for. Only one of the four mentioned actually tapped into the zeitgeist of male camaraderie, and yet here we have another gozzy attempt at cracking the code to the ‘matey-sports’ football sub-genre.  (OK, OK,  delete the word ‘foot’ and there’s still balls involved in each of them). In this case The Shouting Men tells the predictable story of a bunch of blokes determined to see their favourite team Gillingham FC play at an important match vs. Newcastle Utd.  Written and starring two of the leading actors (WARREN LLAMBIAS and MATT DANIEL BAKER) this is one of the more successful vanity projects that litter the Britpic library. Looks like the film finished them off too as there are no more up-to-date credits on IMDB. At least they achieved their ‘dream’ if that’s what this mildly amusing part-time nun’s fart of a film this is.

Writer, Warren Llambias casts himself as the sad sack leader of this band of merry idiots. His co-writer, Matt Daniel Baker takes the plum role of the leg-less wheel chair bound hooligan that cons the group into transporting him to the game in a bus hired from ‘mental health care in the community‘ bus.  Baker gets a lot of the funny lines and situations.  Yes, I’m amazed to report that inspite of The Shouting Men‘s very very lazy plotting a lot of the comedy dialogue and situations are very funny. Making up the numbers of the shouting men are veteran character actor Dudley Sutton (ORLANDO) as the wise old funny one who is nursing a medical secret (bet you didn’t see that one coming), Vyelle Croom’s Jamaican closet gay, Tom Gilling as a virginal fast food addict and there’s also a string of cameos ranging from the sublime (CRAIG FAIRBRASS – DERANGED) to the embarrassing (JOHN BARNES – BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM). So their journey takes them from pillar to post, encountering prostitutes, lost tickets, bad food, hospital trips, ghosts that can score goals, gay sex cottaging and a license to laugh at the disabled and mentally ill (which is OK cos I love un-PC comedy).  The first time actors seamlessly blend with the professionals and the acting is generally fine and the comedy timing spot on. It’s way better than the starrier and very similar (in tone and story) to The Magnificent Eleven, which is faint praise but praise nonetheless. However, The Shouting Men is utterly crap whenever it swaps the laughs for the more serious beats, in fact its cringeworthy. Llambias and Croom‘s face off about hiding the latter’s homosexuality is really badly handled and makes the writers look like a bunch of bigots from a 100 years ago. The token girl is just that and is only there to fall in love with one of the characters, maybe the lead?  Anyway, with a starrier cast this may have been worthy of a cinema release but like Gillingham FC themselves this is distinctly minor league, salvaged by a funny script and great comic timing from its largely unknown cast of amateurs.

5 out of 10 – Lame but funny comedy that utterly fails to convince when it tries its hand at drama.  Funny cast, great cameos. But still distinctly lower league when it tries to give any gravitas to the comedy. Leave the drama to the professionals, love.



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