“Best” is simply the worst. Mary McGuckian’s warts-and-all portrait of George Best, the Manchester United soccer star who dissipated a dazzling career in drink and partying, manages the feat of making a relentlessly dreary biopic of one of the most charismatic British sporting figures of the ’60s and ’70s. Premiered in the U.K. simultaneously on satcaster BSkyB and theatrically, this miscast and misconceived mishmash scores no goals.
Framed as a long flashback when Best (John Lynch) hears of the death of Man U manager Matt Busby (the late Ian Bannen) in ’94, movie fast-forwards through Best’s Belfast youth and discovery by a soccer scout. Famed for his Beatles moptop and natural ability, Best soon makes as many headlines for his extracurricular activities, which earn him resentment from older teammates like Bobby Charlton (Jerome Flynn) and frequent verbal maulings from tough trainer Tommy Docherty (David Hayman) as he exhausts even Busby’s patience. Bannen briefly manages moments of dignity but the repetitive scenes of Best’s drinking and self-loathing quickly pall. Talented cast of non-look-alikes is squandered, Lynch’s hangdog perf charmless. Tech credits are undistinguished.