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Film Review: Spin the Bottle

Rats is back and is on a mission to, er, Lourdes...

Set in the urban hell hole that is noughties Dublin, "Spin the Bottle", a comedy with a strong Irish cast, brings the character of Rats to the silver screen. Rats, sublimely played by Michael McElhatton, first appeared in "Paths to Freedom", a TV mockumentary tracking Rats and a few other released prisoners reintegrated into Dublin society.

Spin the bottleTom Petty had Rats in mind when he wrote the line "a rebel without a clue". Living at home with his mother (a great turn by the recently deceased Pat Leavy), Rats is a spiritual successor to Strumpet City's Rashers Tierney, both small time crims, both more rogueish than menacing. Rats gets all of the movie's belly laughs. And rightly so. While Peter McDonald (Tommo) and Donal O?Kelly (Brainer) really give this film their best Michael McElhatton gives it his heart and soul.

"Spin the Bottle"s plot is lightweight-Rats, again released from jail, reforms his band - the superb Spermdotcom - to raise funds to bring his hugely fat aunty to Lourdes to help her overcome her overeating. Cameos from Gerry Ryan, Louis Walsh, Samantha Mumba and Miriam O?Callaghan are amusing but fail to paper over the movie's cracks, notably its uneven script and some sketchy continuity.

Ultimately "Spin the Bottle" is a series of loosely connected belly laughs rather than a cohesive piece of cinema.

Anthony Morrissey

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