Struggling American football team The Atoms enlist the help of Yugoslavian mule Gus, and his handler Andy (Gary Grimes), to take their kicks in a winning strategy to rival Moneyball.

The Atoms are allowed to play with the mule, since it is not specifically prohibited by the rule book, making an ass of the competition, if conceding the moral victory. Which must be why they remind Bill Maher so much of Republicans.

Disney’s early forays into live action are an ubundant but invariably low-quality breed, putting their boast of 500 films on Disney+ in some perspective. Like Sammy the Way-Out Seal it suffers from an uncharismatic featured creature. To base a film around an animal it should have a degree of personality and be capable of some awareness of the situation, but Gus stands there looking just as much a fish-out-of-water as the seal.

Crucially dependent on the hilarity of seeing a mule on a football field, the workhorse plot tries all the expected manoeuvres including the obligatory crime plot which fails to add to the amulesment. No stack of tins (or cheerleaders) goes un-toppled in slapdash slapstick as impotent as Gus himself in a sports comedy that fails to combine the best of two species.

After 96 minutes the whistle blows on Mule Runnings, the worst thing to happen in a football stadium since the Black Eyed Peas Superbowl half time show. Gus aims for fun, but ends up being way-out.

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