Outside Bet (12A)

Sacha Bennett, 101 mins. Starring: Calum McNab, Bob Hoskins

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The Independent Culture

Fifteen years after The Full Monty and British filmmakers are still plugging away at the formula of plucky underdogs triumphing over economic hardship.

In the case of Outside Bet it's a bunch of Fleet Street printers fighting for their livelihoods during the Thatcherite high noon of union-bashing and lockouts.

The political backdrop, as sketched by writer-director Sacha Bennett, is only a distraction to the main business of geezers-in-a-pub camaraderie and the story of a young chancer (Calum MacNab) who raises "eight large" from his mates to buy a racehorse.

Will their nag – The Mumper – show its class and make them a fortune? Bob Hoskins, Phil Davis, Vincent Regan et al provide the salt of the earth, MacNab furnishes irksome cockiness, and stars of yesteryear Jenny Agutter and Rita Tushingham abase themselves as forlorn doormats to their menfolk. Outside is where it should stay.