After suffering the mindless violence of The Football Factory, I was reluctant to watch Green Street Hooligans. But what a surprise– Hooligans completely sucks you in.
Elijah Wood is a Harvard student with so little self-esteem, he takes a drug possession rap for his roommate, who has better life prospects. He runs away to England, where he becomes the Yank outsider in the GSE, a (fictitious) West Ham United supporters firm. Charlie Hunnam electrifies as a thug who turns out to have the heroic qualities of real leadership in the firm.
Director-Writer Lexi Alexander weaves these two characters into a story that shows the humanity in hooliganism — how it can be brotherhood, fraternal love, standing up for others, and in the end, learning to stand up for oneself. She explains how middle class men get caught up in the competition to increase their firm’s reputation. She knows because her brother was a hooligan in Germany, and co-writer Dougie Brimson has written many books about hooliganism, including the seminal “Among the Thugs”.
2 Thumbs Up from Ebert & Roeper
But apparently, some British critics were very harsh on this movie because the cockney accents were wrong, the story unauthentic and too Americanized. Hey, for me, this movie helped me understand the San Jose Ultras. 🙂 And Ebert & Roeper gave it two thumbs up.
As far as soccer, there is footage from a West Ham game. You get a real sense of what it is like to be in an EPL stadium, and to live in the most video-surveilled country in the world. There is a lot of gang fighting, but it all carries the story. There is a cute scene of Hunnam’s schoolboys team crushing Elijah, who fills in as goalkeeper.
In English, but I had to turn on subtitles in order to understand the dialogue. Watch this movie by a #WomenDirector
9 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 9