- Just so you know, this film is called Hooligans, Green Street Hooligans and Green Street depending on where you are.
Football has never really had a good film made about it, not that I’ve seen anyway. I mean most people enjoy that Christmas favourite Escape to Victory, but despite having Pele, the football isn’t really that good. Is Green Street any better? Football-wise, I’d have to say yes. But this film isn’t really about football at all. It is about the West Ham firm, the GSE (Green Street Elite), and football fans’ violence and how this all appears to an outsider.
That outsider is Matt, who we meet as he is being expelled from Harvard, of course for something he didn’t do. Uncertain now of his future, he was studying journalism, he decides to go stay with his sister living in England. But when he arrives his brother-in-law(Steve) has a romantic night out planned, so Matt ends up heading down the pub with Steve’s younger brother, and then out to a football match. And so he is introduced to the world of football, or soccer as he calls it. Pretty quickly he is swept away and becomes one of the lads, fighting along side them as they meet up with other footballing firms.
So expect plenty of violence and fighting.
But Pete Dunham and the GSE aren’t really bad guys, at least not in this film. Pete is a teacher. He is a gentleman, giving up his seat to a woman on the tube. Isn’t that nice of him.
Overall the film itself seems to have been swayed by the violence. We do get a bit of a message that violence creates problems and leaves lives wrecked, but in the end, certain violence is endorsed as proper and correct. Throughout the film as Matt grows more and more into a fighter he is portrayed as growing in confidence, and in appeal as we see him giving his number to girls.
Using innocent-faced Wood as Matt was a good choice. The rest of the cast also give good performances. Marc Warren I will be looking out for again, although hopefully he’ll lose the overdone cockney slang and Mary Poppins-esque accent (no, it wasn’t that bad).
But all in all the film is quite predictable, and nothing to write home about. It also takes the side of the GSE, and so lessons their violence, turning their actions into more of an acceptable form of violence as it is only against other firms, and not the general public.