When I was a kid, I used to get great School reports. High marks for attainment through the whole booklet, nice phrases. The only letdown was under physical education where I would often get an A for effort, but a 4 or 5 for attainment. When it came to sports, I was just no good. This was highlighted in my final report where my PE teacher basically said “STOP DOING SPORT, YOU ARE ON A HIDING TO NOTHING”. He was right.

I say this in relation to awful Brit gangster film Dead Man Running because it is produced by Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand. What more do I need to add to that sentence to make you realise this film could never ever be any good? OK, 50 Cent is in it. Danny Dyer rocks up too, but doesn’t play the lead. But really concentrate on British Gangster Comedy produced by premiership footballers. Its a given that its morally bankrupt*, thuggish and stupid, but even so there is something annoyingly perky about it. There is something about the films innate stupidity that means it believes that it really, really, really could be a classic of the genre. Just watch the way it goes back to the well of its leads running a travel agency devoted to ski-ing trips to Dubai. A daft throwaway gag BECOMES A PLOT POINT.

A properly wretchedly bad film would play all of this straight of course. Its unclear at which point Brenda Blethyn and Phil Davis realised they were in a terrible film, but their method of surviving this wreck is to out act everyone else. It helps that they don’t really have to interact with the rest of the cast. Ashley Walters doesn’t even get the chance to act : having to feed 50 Cent a jellied eel really is not his career highlight. But their flashes show why Dead Man Running can’t just be enjoyed as a wholly terrible bit of trash. Lead actor Tamer Hassan knows he probably isn’t going to get a chance like this so milks the witless script for what he can, but he knows he is beat when he has to plead his ex-prostitute girlfriend not to go on the game for him. Its stuck together with clichés, by someone who thinks the jokes in Midnight Run were funny because of the swearing. Buy the time Rio gets a namecheck in the film you see where all the money went.


*I would like the film-makers to explain the moral difference between shooting someone with an empty gun, when you think it is full and the decision to commit murder. Pulling the trigger is the problem, and leaves the viewers with a real problem with its hero, who may be a bit hard done by, but not so bad to become a murderer.