Monday 24 November 2014

Half Time And Down - Review


Written and directed by Mark-John Ford

Harley Sylvester and cast on set

Half Time and Down is the debut offering from writer director Mark-John Ford. Running to around thirty minutes, this football focused fantasy takes a look inside the dressing room of Stanley Beavers FC. It's half time and the team are trailing 6-0.

As manager Bob (Tom Davis) unleashes his "motivational" team-talk, his profanity amuses - but it soon becomes repetitive. There is some wit in Ford's characters, but there's a tad too much clich├ęd stereotype too: the overweight player; Bob's sycophantic assistant; they're all stock comedy targets, although there are the occasional brilliantly recognisable Sunday League moments too - Bob's combo of tracksuit bottoms with a shirt and tie is inspired!

Aside from the script, Ford has assembled some acting gems. Harley Sylvester (who the kids will know as half of Rizzle Kicks) puts in a decent turn as one of the Beavers, whilst legendary ex-hooligan and now respected author Cass Pennant gives a no-nonsense cameo as the referee.

The film has a sound premise, but whilst the f-word's comic potential has been known for decades, (Derek and Clive used it brilliantly) abuse needs to be handled with care. Too much filth is boring. Ford clearly has imagination, but his scriptwriting needs attention.

It's far from the best, but if you're in the mood for a curry and a few beers, then Half Time And Down could well provide a perfect evening's entertainment.

Available to download from 1st December 2014

Guest reviewer - Jed Samuel


  1. This was hilarious see it at the London Short Film Festival years ago.

  2. Remember this when first came about I can't believe it was nearly a decade ago ?