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Green Street Hooligans (2005)

Cast: Elijah Wood, Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, more...
Director: Lexi Alexander, Lexi Alexander
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Drama, Sports Drama, Coming of Age , Crime
Running Time: 108 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

An American abroad is introduced to the heady but dangerous pleasures of violence in this powerful drama from Great Britain. Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) is a journalism student from America who is expelled from college when his roommate sets him to take the fall after drugs are found in their dorm room. Needing time to sort out what his next move should be, Matt travels to London to visit his sister Shannon (Claire Forlani), who has married British Steve Dunham (Marc Warren). As it happens, Matt arrives at a less than opportune moment, and he ends up spending his first evening in the U.K. with Steve's brother Pete (Charlie Hunnam). Pete hangs out with a "firm" of friends who call themselves "the Green Street Elite" and are passionate fans of the West Ham United football club (Matt quickly discovers calling British football "soccer" is an easy way to get your teeth knocked out). Pete has little use for Matt until the Green Street Elite get into a dust-up with another firm; Matt turns out to be a fierce if inexperienced fighter, and discovers he enjoys the kick of street brawling. Matt is cautiously accepted by Pete and the other members of the firm, and is soon absorbed into the very British world of violent football fandom. But when Pete and his friends learn that Matt studied journalism, they begin to suspect he's a reporter doing an undercover piece on hooliganism, and they set out to teach him an ugly lesson about loyalty. The debut feature film from British director Lexi Alexander, Green Street Hooligans (initially shown simply as Hooligans) was the first film ever to win both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Green Street Numbskulls by talltale June 16, 2006 - 4:47 PM PDT
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I am trying--but having great difficulty--recalling another film as nonsensical as GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS. It comes up empty in terms of psychology (the brother-in-laws' actions in his initial scene make zero sense for the remainder of the film), morality (oooh--let's promote non-violence by showing scene after scene of guys beating the bloody bejesus out of each other) and believability (the main character is just full of questions--except the most obvious one: What happened to the Major?). You'll know what I mean once you've experienced this trash masterpiece, whose climax is so over-the-top stupid, violent and unbelievable that those with intelligence quotients beyond the age of five will be hooting and hollering in amazed disbelief.

The German-born director (who triples as co-writer & co-producer of this first full-length film) has here rounded up a talented bunch of actors and then handed them dreck (which, I'll admit, has been nicely photographed). But wasn't any one of her co-producers around to yell "Wait a minute!" at any point during pre- or post-production? Guess not. The gang's (excuse me, it's called a "firm") theme song may be "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," but I'm guessing something else got blown in order to find financing for this turkey.

Among a good cast, Elijah Wood fares worst. His post-"Rings" career choices have so far been devastating: the sentimental Holocaust schlock of "Everything is Illuminated" and now this zero--both of which tanked ignominiously. Why would Wood want a role in which he must constantly appear next to a raft of good, believable and thuggish-looking cast members? He gives it, as ususal, his best shot. But talk about a little boy lost!

After you've finished this junk, it might be salutary to remind yourself what caused all this violence. Ready? It's about which football team these twits support.

No wonder the Brits lost their empire.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.51)
35 Votes
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