The Football Factory review

Based on John King's cult novel, this is an authentic-but-dated look at the "English disease" of soccer hooliganism, full of hatchet-faced actors who wouldn't look out of place in a police line-up.

Danny Dyer (Human Traffic) is the wannabe thug whose rise through the ranks of the Chelsea "firm" is hindered by guilt, ghostly apparitions and intimations of his own mortality. As a showdown with arch rivals Millwall approaches, should he emulate veteran nutter Frank Harper, or escape Down Under with kindly granddad Dudley Sutton?

Nick Love's follow-up to the promising Goodbye Charlie Bright captures its working-class milieu in all its profanity-strewn vainglory and has a brutal brio that's hard to ignore. But the episodic structure and Dyer's intrusive voiceover owe too much to Trainspotting, while the gentrification of football over the last decade effectively torpedoes the film's hopes of being a valuable social document.


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