Tash McDermott (Mark Woodward) is the head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Football Intelligence Unit, who’s dedicated to preventing hooliganism. He agrees to allow a documentary crew to follow him around, showing off what he believes is his great skill, but what the world can see as his bungling incompetence.
He’s on the trail of the elusive football firm bad guy Nightmare, but it’s going to be tough to find him, especially as Tash has taken programmes like The Sweeney to heart and seems incapable of moving towards a more modern style of policing, much to the chagrin of his superiors.
Tash Force is the sort of low budget film that tries to make strengths out of its financial limitations, such as using the mockumentary form and largely featuring just two characters – Tash himself and the journalist following him. This latter trick would certainly have made things cheaper and easier, but it’s a potentially dangerous gambit. After all, it puts the entire movie on Tash’s shoulders, with little else to help with the burden. It means that if you don’t immediately take to Tash, the whole movie fails, as quite a lot of the film is a bit of a one-man comedy show.
He’s undoubtedly a bit of a Marmite character, whose comedy will be a bit too broad and obvious for many, while others will no doubt be amused by his antics. When I first saw the ridiculous wig he wears, I feared the worst and that this would be cheap, lazy, lowest common denominator rubbish. It isn’t that, but neither is it a comic tour de force. I eventually realised that the wig was actually quite a good barometer of whether you should watch the film or not. If you look at the pic of Tash above and smile, you’ll probably enjoy the movie, but if you just think he looks stupid, this probably isn’t your kind of film.
Although Tash Force attempts a bit of depth and character development, it doesn’t really succeed, and Tash’s rather episodic capers are undoubtedly a bit hit and miss. To be honest it wasn’t really my kind of film, but I can certainly see a lot of people enjoying it. I didn’t think it was bad, just that it didn’t particularly tickle my funny bone. It’s a film that comes out of a long heritage of Northern comedy – the likes of Cannon & Ball and Dave Spikey sprang to mind while I was watching it – so if you like that kind of thing, you’ll probably enjoy Tash Force.
Overall Verdict: It won’t be to everyone’s taste and it’s definitely a bit hit and miss, but if you look at Tash and his wig makes you smile, you’ll probably like it.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac