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Green Street Hooligans

A movie directed by Lexi Alexander

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A High Tension Tale Examining the Extent of Human Violence

  • Aug 12, 2007
Rating:
+3
GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS is much easier on the psyche to watch in the home DVD version than in the theater release. It is a story so packed with violence that the underlying subplots get lost until the film is reduced to the size of a television screen. Lexi Alexander wrote (with Dougie Brimson and Joshua Shelov) and directed this tense story about the strange cults ('firms') of grown men who align with the various soccer/football teams in London, accompanying the games with intense fighting in the manner of 'hooliganism'. The story is well told by introducing a Yank into this atmosphere, allowing the viewer to see the origins and machinations of hooliganism from a fairly unbiased stance.

Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) has just been expelled form Harvard in his last semester, taking the blame for his coke-snorting hotshot roommate whose family is too important for such blunderings. Somewhat without direction and not having his degree in journalism completed (Matt's father - Henry Goodman - is a high ranking international journalist whose time is spent in foreign ports since the death of Matt's mother) Matt flies to London to live with his sister Shannon (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren) and their young son. Steve's rowdy brother Pete (Charlie Hunnam) interrupts Matt's arrival with a demand for money from his older brother and reluctantly accepts the company of the new Yank Matt in order to gain cash from Steve. What ensues is Matt's introduction to the GSE (Green Street Elite), a firm of men who defend the honor and success of their chosen soccer team: there are many such firms of street violence gangs who vie for ranking within the city. Matt is plunged into this violent situation and learns form Pete the importance of gang stance: always protect your brothers and never flee a fight. The story grows increasingly complex and intense as we learn the backgrounds for hate and intolerance, one of these hates is for journalists and when it is discovered that Matt was a journalism major at Harvard the news nearly causes Matt's life. But Matt slowly identifies with the firm and grows into a sense of individuality that he has never had, giving him the ability to face the realities of his father's absence and to understand the precarious marriage of his sister whose husband is a 'reformed' hooligan. In the end there is a 'justification' for the violence witnessed, but the audience must be willing to view that justification from an altered stance.

The film is paced well and the cast is excellent, with special kudos to Elijah Wood, Claire Forlani, Marc Warren, Charley Hunnan, and to the fine supporting cast members including Leo Gregory as the unfortunate snitch, Terence Jay as the coke-addicted Harvard roommate, and a large cast of 'firm members' whose fighting techniques are well choreographed and captured by cinematographer Alexander Buono. Like THE FIGHT CLUB this film is not for all audiences, but the messages underneath all of the violence are well worth thought. Grady Harp, August 07

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More Green Street Hooligans (2006 m... reviews
review by . October 18, 2009
Pros: An exciting and engaging film...     Cons: ...a bit predictable, miscasting.     The Bottom Line: Green Street Hooligans is a good movie.  If violence bothers you, you might want to pass; otherwise, sit down and enjoy an interesting and engaging film.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. It's sometimes easy to forget just how vast the cultural differences are between America and Europe.  …
Quick Tip by . September 30, 2009
"Stop Calling It Bloody Soccer!! It's Football Day lets have some fun!!" Great movie, in my top 10!
review by . August 01, 2006
This is one strong and compelling film that's probably been hidden from a lot of viewers and lucky enough I wasn't one of them. I also thought it was very interesting to learn about the organization of "The Firms," I never knew such a thing existed either. Before I seen this film I thought of Hooliganism as a bunch of young drunken idiots, who like to pick fights, etc...... but that clearly wasn't the case. As an American, I struggled a bit with the heavy British accents but I pick up on it really …
review by . July 17, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Violence, if it is your thing.      Cons: Violence, if it isn't your thing.      The Bottom Line: Watch Fight Club; watch A Clockwork Orange, Both are much better and at least original.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie''s plot.      Green Street Hooligans has all of the worst parts of Fight Club without any of its dark humor and clever insights into the mind of a man …
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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Wiki

GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS: In 1988, British director Alan Clarke set a high benchmark for movies about soccer hooliganism with a brutal, unflinching drama called THE FIRM. Few dared follow in Clarke's estimable footsteps. But filmmaker Lexi Alexander, who joined a gang of soccer thugs during her childhood in Germany, seems well placed to be the director of GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS, which returns to the controversial subject matter some 17 years after Clarke's film. Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) is a student who travels to London after getting kicked out of Harvard. Ostensibly there to visit his sister, Matt instead forms an unlikely bond with her husband's brother, Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam), who takes him to a soccer match to see his team, West Ham. At the game, the inevitable happens, and Matt's initial trepidation at the violence swelling around him soon turns into a pulse-racing, visceral thrill. Suddenly finding a taste for the hooligan life, Matt joins Pete's "firm," the Green Street Elite, leading to fu...
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Details

Director: Lexi Alexander
Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 9, 2005
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
Runtime: 1hr 46min
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