The Ringer (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Johnny Knoxville needs money fast, so his uncle - a wondrously offensive, pencil-moustached Brian Cox - has a brainwave: if Knoxville pretends to be "mentally challenged", he can enter the Special Olympics, and Cox can bet on him to outrun the favourite.

It's one of those comedy ideas that must have seemed like genius when it was scrawled on a cocktail napkin, but stretching it to an hour and a half is, well, quite a stretch. There are some big laughs here and there, but The Ringer, which is produced by the Farrelly brothers, is flummoxed by the same dilemma as their own films Shallow Hal and Stuck On You: how far can you take a politically incorrect joke while bending over backwards to be politically correct?

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