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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 32.26%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 19.35%
Sucks: 3.23%

2 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Football Factory, The
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by Kevin Thomas

"A shame on all fronts..."
2 stars

Some things make me proud to be British; like the NHS, or the quality of our fish and chips. Conversely, some things make me drop my head in shame; such as Blazin’ Squad or, more relevantly, our atrocious reputation for football violence. It is this that is the subject of this offering from, of all people, Rockstar Games.

Never before have my expectations for a movie plummeted as fast as when, quietly sipping on my medium coke, I saw that Rockstar Games was credited with the position of Executive Producers in the opening titles. Don’t get me wrong, GTA; Vice City is a fantastic game, but it hardly bodes well that the director had the merchants of such gratuitous violence analysing his every frame.

Though the movie does manage to avoid playing like a computer game, it is difficult to isolate anything it achieves above that level. Only one character is given the slightest semblance of development, and even this is rudimentary at best, serving as little more than a bridge between the opening and closing scenes of graphic violence. The rest of the characters remain entirely one dimensional and completely unsympathetic. You simply do not care enough about any of them to either love them or loathe them.

I suppose this was meant to be a grittily accurate portrayal of the realities of football violence. But if this is what the director was aiming for, he undoes a lot of this by choosing to include some odd dream sequences that just happen to be entirely accurate prophecies of the future. Repeatedly, the realities of the story come apart thanks to some ridiculous oversights from the director. The ‘North’ of England is hopelessly represented by being some kind of desolate, near-abandoned desert of old couches and burnt out cars inhabited by Stanley knife-wielding Scousers. It is a laughable image that could only exist in the mind of a painfully self-indulgent Londoner. Added to this are the odd, pot-smoking, dirty old grandparents and women who can apparently be seduced by two tequilas. You have to wonder what world the author (of the book that this film is based upon) spent his life in.

When a conclusion to the tale is reached, you can only sit dumbfounded by the lead character’s (played competently by Danny Dyer) utter refusal to change his ways. Especially given that the basis for half movie was his questioning his place in the scheme of things, and wondering whether he truly wanted to do this for the rest of his life. It completely defies comprehension.

However, for all this criticism, I should point out that virtually all of these thoughts only occurred to me on the journey home. During the running time, I did enjoy the events that were unfolding before me. Not once did I check my watch or wonder when it was going to finally start wrapping up. It must have been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, even if it falls apart under any kind of scrutiny.

I assumed that this film was going to offer some explanation for the violent underworld that exists in this country, but all I got was some pathetic sub-Fight Club attempts to explain their actions by making fun of suburbia. Vague hints are made about racism leading to increased need for identity in a country that is becoming more culturally diverse by the day, but none of it is explored deeply enough to make the movie interesting.

Although the film offers a fairly derivative way to spend an hour and a half, the only thing you could take away from the movie was that hooliganism is a fucking stupid pastime only enjoyed by fucking idiots. But maybe that’s the whole point after all.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=9644&reviewer=368
originally posted: 05/25/04 10:09:38
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User Comments

9/27/06 MIKE F fukin mint film this 5 stars
5/11/06 oskido fuckin top draw 5 stars
10/03/05 haha bad boy movie 5 stars
7/31/05 Mark Strijbosch Londoners at their finest:D 4 stars
6/02/05 busby fuckin class film...recomend it to anyone. ps. danny dyer is gorgeous! 5 stars
4/12/05 Liverpool FC fuckin amazin movie wankers 5 stars
11/16/04 tomy johnson fucking amzing i luv the script 5 stars
11/16/04 bristols finest csf take a look at whats happening in middle england every saturday 4 stars
11/14/04 pissface super duper film 4 stars
10/28/04 Sam Jacks fucking quality 5 stars
10/24/04 josh wat a fuckin film quality 5 stars
10/23/04 Rik Quality film. Absolutly brilliant. 5 stars
10/22/04 andy may what a quality film 5 stars
10/19/04 dale fucking quality 5 stars
10/09/04 - mint 5 stars
9/27/04 LIAM JACKSON ste creelman your a wanker for saying football thugs make you patriotic.film's good though 4 stars
9/10/04 Reece it maybe dosent appeal to everyone but i say its fantastic,nearly as good as I.D 5 stars
7/01/04 california kid total crass crud 1 stars
6/27/04 ste creelman ur a wanka kevin u dont no out this is a class film it makes me proud to be british 5 stars
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Directed by
  Nick Love

Written by
  Nick Love

  Danny Dyer
  Frank Harper
  Neil Maskell
  Roland Manookian
  Jamie Foreman
  Tamer Hassan

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