Final Score, (no not the BBC’s Saturday afternoon football results programme – I wish I was reviewing that instead), is a movie produced in conjunction with Sky Sports and executive produced by West Ham’s co-owner David Sullivan, whose previous dalliances in film have been with softcore pornography. It stars Dave Bautisita and Pierce Brosnan and is centred around a terrorist attack at a Premier League football stadium.
So basically, about 20 years before the events of the film two brothers Arkady (Ray Stephenson) and Dimitri (Brosnan) try to lead a revolution in the breakaway state of Sokovia (maybe this means that Final Score is part of the MCU). It goes wrong; Arkady goes to prison; Dimitri goes into hiding in London after extensive plastic surgery. Arkady gets out and wants revenge on Dimitri. Or to capture him. Or something. It has to happen at a football game though, because Dimitri supports Dynamo who are playing West Ham and he will be in attendance. Or something.
Dave Bautista’s character Mike is in London to visit his surrogate niece Danni, the daughter of a former soldier buddy of his who was killed. He takes Danni to the game, she goes missing, he tries to find her and ends up trying to stop the terrorists as no one inside the stadium knows they are at risk.
There is little to like about this film. The plot is flimsy, the characters are poor, most of the ‘Londoners’ are just caricatures, and the dialogue is just lacking. One positive is the action sequences which are both extremely brutal and quite impressive at points.
Bautista lacks any of the charm that he has in the Marvel movies especially when he has to talk about ‘soccer’ (yes, don’t worry at some point in the film a Brit does tell an American that it is ‘football’ not ‘soccer’ in an aggressive manner) and Brosnan is completely wasted in what is essentially an extended cameo appearance.
The footballing inaccuracies just add to the annoyance at how bad the film is. Granted there aren’t many, as the football is a mere sideshow to the main terrorist plot. However in Final Score the setting is the final game at West Ham’s Upton Park. Now in reality the final ever match at Upton Park was a 3-2 win over Manchester United. Quite fitting for a historic ground. In Final Score the match is a first leg of a European semi final (we are never told which competition) against the fictional ‘Dynamo FC’. Now given the dates that these semi finals generally take place, it would have been unlikely to be the last game of the season at a stadium, especially given it was the first leg. Also, the movie seems to confuse itself as to whether it is the first leg or crucial second leg.
After being the featured team in Green Street and the club supported by most of the cast of Eastenders you really do have to wonder what West Ham have done to deserve all of this.
Billed as Die Hard in a football stadium it is actually more akin to straight to DVD action guff in Andy Townsend’s Tactics Truck. The movie equivalent of the football that West Ham have served up in the opening stages of the current season.