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Hooligan Factory, The


Stars: Jason Maza, Nick Nevern, Tom Burke, Ray Fearon, Leo Gregory, Keith-Lee Castle, Lorraine Stanley, Steven O'Donnell, Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Craig Fairbrass, Josef Altin, Natalie Boyd, Dexter Fletcher, Jamie Foreman

Director: Nick Nevern

Nevern, burly star of The Football Factory, tries to turn the genre upside-down with this very broad comedy version of the low-budget Brit crime flick, which runs like the East End Tough Guys' annual pantomime. So it's entirely appropriate, for example, that such stalwarts of the genre as Dyer, Fairbrass and Hassan should appear in a prologue scene, even if it has only the most tenuous connection with what follows. The gang is, indeed, all here.

Danny (Maza), eager for a life of crime, but not exactly a physical fit for the role, is taken under the wing of the decidedly bisexual Dex (Nevern), former soccer hooligan king, now fresh out of jail and completely oblivious to the fact that his wife (Stanley) has had a mixed-race baby by their mutual friend Midnight (Fearon).

All the members of Dex's gang and their bitter arch-rivals led by The Baron (Castle) are depicted as plank-thick and then some. The plump undercover cop (O'Donnell) working with the gang, for example, is even referred to as Old Bill, but no one save Danny seems to think his taking copious notes on their activities is in any way unusual.

Aficionados might get a few affectionate guffaws out of this, but it's all too obvious and simplistic. Some modern comedies make the Carry On series look subtle by comparison and this is one.

David Quinlan

UK 2013. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour (unspecified).
88 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 05 Jun 2014