Sing Song

Using a bad musical as cover, cons plot their Lucky Break from prison

A likable British convict (James Nesbitt) plans an ingenious escape that involves cons (Lennie James, Timothy Spall, Bill Nighy), the prison's psychologist (Olivia Williams) and the staging of Nelson!, an awful musical biography of the well-known admiral written by their dotty, musical-comedy-obsessed warden (Christopher Plummer). Complications, of course, abound, with suspicious guards poking around and brutal inmates elbowing their way into Jimmy's bust-out plan. This sophomore effort from director Peter Cattaneo (whose The Full Monty somehow became the highest-grossing British film of all time) contains most of its predecessor's key qualities. Most of all, there is the spectacle of macho guys taking on an embarrassing, "unmasculine" activity and not merely learning it, but learning to love it. Lucky Break is less successful at blending the serious and comic elements; the more melodramatic moments here feel at odds with the dominant tone. Still, this is mostly well-constructed fluff, which is all it seems intended to be.
 
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