Own Goal - the worst sports movies ever

  • The List
  • 19 March 2009
Rocky V

Rocky V

Legolas the boxer? Sexing up carpet bowls? You’ve got to be kidding. Herein lie some of the worst sports movies ever

1. Rocky V (1990) The One Where It Just Got Stupid. His brain pulped by Russian machine Ivan Drago, Rocky displays dim-wittedness above and beyond the call during a climactic, life-threatening backstreet brawl.

2. When Saturday Comes (1996) Against a backdrop of Hovis ad imagery, middle-aged manual worker Sean Bean all of a sudden becomes Famous Footballer. Relentlessly Northern, unlikely to the point of wish-fulfilment.

3. Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001) Chest-beating clichés, underwhelming performances and the same old sorry excuse. Essentially England at a major finals then, with Ricky Tomlinson.

4. Escape to Victory (1981) The presence of Pele can’t save this laughably cheesy war film in which POWs, led by Michael Caine and a hilariously awful Sly Stallone, abandon escape plans to beat the Bosch on the football pitch.

5. Days of Thunder (1990) Top Gun in racing cars. Tom Cruise as maverick rookie driver and Nicole Kidman as the brain surgeon trying to tame him, chew their way through a terrible script. Guff.

6. Rollerball (2002) How the hell did John Die Hard McTiernan’s Rollerball remake fail so completely? It’s a movie about folk on rollerblades beating each other up. It takes a special kind of talent to make that as dull as this.

7. The Calcium Kid (2004) It’s amazing Orlando Bloom ever became a star with this stinker on his CV. Lazy, unfunny mockumentary about a boxing milkman.

8. Blackball (2003) Paul Kaye tries to sex up the world of lawn bowls in a movie that happily sits alongside Sex Lives of the Potato Men and Fat Slags as the nadir of British comedy.

9. Fever Pitch (2005) There’s nothing too wrong with this Colin Firth-starring Nick Hornby adaptation. Oh but wait, no football film is complete without some emasculating relationship gubbins, right? Because girls don’t like footie, yeah? Get off.

10. The Football Factory (2004) Chelsea FC. Ladflick specialist Nick Love. Hooligan-mythologising author John King. Danny Dyer. The DVD should have come with a free Ginster’s sausage roll and copy of The Sun.

11. Blue Juice (1995) Catherine Zeta Jones and Ewan McGregor have gone on to respectable careers – absolutely no thanks to this bilgewater coming-of-age Britcom about Cornwall surfers.

12. Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire (1985) So that’s Phil Daniel’s in an 80s comic horror musical based around snooker. What’s not to love? Oh, yeah … Right.

13. Chariots of Fire (1981) Vangelis. God. Cambridge University. Men with floppy haircuts running on beaches. Come back Danny Dyer, all is forgiven!

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