Rise of the Footsoldier review

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Rise Of The Footsoldier makes Essex Boys resemble The Godfather. It’s a balls ‘n’ all portrait of Carlton Leach (Ricci Hartnett), one of the homegrown geezers mixed up in the ’90s “Range Rover Murders”. Clumsily stitched together by Hartnett’s snarling voiceover, it follows Leach from football ’ooligan to Essex-lad gangster. Revelling in vicious violence – arse-stabbings, cigarette burns and in-yer-face shotgun trauma – helmer Julian Gilbey wants to leave The Football Factory looking like a CBeebies special. He cocks it up, though, with naff performances, dodgy wound make-up (plastic, popped eyeballs) and a dull final hour. The filmmakers’ wide-eyed attempt to turn Leach into a living legend will probably rattle Daily Mail readers’ cages; everyone else may find its stonking hard-on for real-life hard men slightly ludicrous.

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