Directed by Peter Segal, starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, James Cromwell, William Fichtner, Nelly and Courtney Cox.

A remake of the 1974 movie of the same name, 'The Longest Yard' is enjoyable fare, even if it does struggle to match the heights of its predecessor.

To be fair, it would be impossible to carbon copy the original in which Burt Reynolds played a distinctly more politically incorrect main character.

The story is pretty much the same, with Paul 'Wrecking' Crewe (Sandler) still a former NFL star living in disgrace after being booted out of the game for allegedly fixing matches. When Crewe totals his girlfriend Lena's (Cox) sports car while driving under the influence, the ex-Pittsburgh star is sent to jail.

However, rather than serve his time out in peace, Crewe finds himself transferred to Allenville Penitentiary in Texas, where Warden Hazen (Cromwell) has lofty political ambitions. He also has a prison guard team and he hopes that with Crewe's guidance they can become successful.

Crewe, on the advice of top guard Captain Knauer (Fichtner), turns down the offer, but eventually succumbs to the warden's request. The fallen star then convinces the warden to let the guards take on the prisoners in a pre-season game.

He has difficulty coaxing his fellow inmates onto the team, but with the help of new friend 'Caretaker' Farrell (Rock) he manages to put a formidable outfit together.

Sandler is usually at his best with Drew Barrymore in attendance ('The Wedding Singer', '50 First Dates'). Nevertheless, even without her presence here he sustains interest. Rock has a wobbly start, with a few embarrassingly laboured one-liners. He grows into the role, though, and comes out with some, if not a whole lot, of credit. Even plaster-face himself, Nelly, manages to produce a convincing performance as the speedy Earl Megget.

Reynolds provides the link to the first movie appearing late on as Nate Scarborough, a former NFL great, who wants to lend his vast experience to the cause.

There are also a few cameo roles, with the likes of Rob Schneider and pro-wrestler Steve 'Stone Cold' Austin popping up along the way.

Director Segal has decided to go with big-hitting action and a barrage of one-liners and set-ups. The original was a much deeper and darker affair, with character development at its core.

The modern version is less dense, with the prisoners shown as cheeky chaps who are given an unduly rough time by the guards. The officers are ruthless and vicious with little respect for the downtrodden inmates. If the conservative in you can deal with that for close to two hours, you might just enjoy yourself.

Viewing this flick could hardly be considered the most constructive or productive way of spending your hard-earned cash, but not even Eddie Hobbs would slate you for splashing out to see it.

Séamus Leonard