Incredibly silly, yet great fun and terrific entertainment at the same time, Final Score is practically the very epitome of ‘does what it says on the tin’ moviemaking.

You want Dave Bautista taking out some bad guys in a series of brutal ways?

You’ve got it.

You want a bunch of heavies to have dodgy Eastern European accents, complete with fictional country of origin?

You’ve got it.

You want police chiefs that obviously don’t believe the good guy when he tells them what’s going on?

You’ve got it.

And, somewhat obviously, you want friends and relatives of the good guy to be at the same venue – very much in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Of course you do.

I must admit, I approached Final Score with incredibly low expectations, faintly hoping it would prove a passable slice of Saturday night entertainment. And that may be just why the film delivers, as it turns out better than expected.

Bautista plays Michael Knox, a former soldier visiting London to check in on the family of a fallen colleague. In order to spend a bit of bonding time with his former best buddy’s teenage daughter, Knox snaps up two tickets for a football match – a fictional ‘European Cup’ game that sees West Ham face Russian side ‘Dynamo’ at Upton Park.

Wouldn’t you know though, terrorists plan to hold the entire stadium hostage during the game as a way of forcing the release of one of the terrorist’s brothers, and suddenly the grand old stadium (and 35,000 fans) are being watched over by a bevy of armed goons.

Naturally the daughter Dani (Lara Peake) decides to do a runner to meet her boyfriend while Knox heads for a hotdog, allowing Knox to roam the corridors in search of her, stumble across the plan afoot – and decide to do something about it…

As soon as you mention the words terrorists and a one-man army attempting to stop them, Die Hard invariably comes up in the conversation. But the truth of the matter is Final Score is probably best described as a British take on Sudden Death, the enjoyable Van Damme actioner that saw terrorists occupy Pittsburgh’s ice hockey arena (and which also saw Van Damme’s character searching for a lost child).

The film is pretty much predictable from first to last, but what elevates the film is that it does not take itself seriously. Yes, plenty of scenes are played straight, but it also has its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek for much of the running time, whether it be Bautista proving a self deprecating lead, a scene-stealing turn from Amit Shah as wisecracking security guard Faisal, or even in blatantly funny moments such as Ralph Brown’s police chief decking an American security expert for repeatedly using the term ‘soccer’ over ‘football’.

Obviously, people are not going to be attracted to Final Score for the humour, and the film certainly delivers in the violence department (aside from a couple of dodgy CGI moments). Bautista can obviously handle the physical stuff, and Ray Stevenson (as head terrorist Arkady) can carry this type of role in his sleep. Stranger though is the inclusion of Pierce Brosnan as Dimitri, with Brosnan given little to do other than grow a beard, don a flat cap and trot out a dodgy accent.

Overall Final Score certainly does what it sets out to do – and is markedly above average. And, considering how their season has started, it is 90 minutes far better spent than sat watching West Ham.

Movie Review: Final Score
3.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle