Daily Star

Vinnie’s a big hit in thriller



(In cinemas and on digital from today)


THIS old-fashioned thriller is named after a creek in Tennessee.

Although football fans of a certain age may see a reference to its leading man.

But while 80s footie bad-boy Vinnie Jones delivered some big and very ugly performanc­es on the pitch, he is surprising­ly soulful as the film’s tortured anti-hero.

Writer-director Scott Wiper worked with him on The Condemned and wrote the role of cockney mob enforcer Neelyn for him – with encouragem­ent from Vinnie’s late wife Tanya.

And it seems that they both saw something in the actor that casting directors had overlooked.

The action begins with a culture clash as geezers from a cockney gangster movie land in the steaming heat of a Southern noir.

Snappily attired London crime boss Harris (Malcolm Mcdowell) has jetted into Tennessee to launder his ill-gotten gains by investing in dodgy US oilman Preston’s (Ron Perlman) venture in the Appalachia­n mountains.

He has brought along his loyal enforcer Neelyn, just to make sure none of the rednecks steps out of line. But after a booze-sodden party to celebrate the signing of the contracts, that his disappeare­d.

An early inquiry places her at the bar with Preston’s psycho son Junior (Brandon Sklenar), who hit the road suspicious­ly early that morning. Neelyn has done Harris’s dirty work for years but this is

Neelyn discovers girlfriend has

■ personal. The film is missing a stand-out action scene and you can feel the budgetary restraints in the finale.

But the performanc­es are excellent. The ex-footballer shares plenty of scenes with veterans Mcdowell and Perlman but he never feels out of place. – AL

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 ??  ?? FOUL PLAY: Vinnie is on the ball as Neelyn in The Big Ugly
FOUL PLAY: Vinnie is on the ball as Neelyn in The Big Ugly
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 ??  ?? COSTUME DRAMA: Club reverses fortunes
COSTUME DRAMA: Club reverses fortunes
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