DVD Review: White Collar Hooligan
Available now on DVD.
Based on a true story, White Collar Hooligan chronicles the rise and fall of an unemployed, football loving ‘normal’ man/part-time thug; struggling to make ends meet.
Desperate for work, low on self-esteem and wanting to be ‘somebody’, football hooligan Mike Jacobs runs into his old friend Eddie during a ‘routine’ post-match riot. Meeting up with him later that evening, Eddie proposes an offer to Mike – working as a courier – cash-in-hand, no questions asked. Initially apprehensive Mike thinks Eddie may be involved in the world of drugs but when he realises it’s a credit card scam that targets the banks he finds the offer very difficult to turn down.
However as time go on things begin to change for Mike. Now accustomed and seduced by the riches, his lavish lifestyle comes complete with drugs, beautiful women and more money he can handle. All of this comes at a cost – the destruction of his relationship with the beautiful Katie (Rita Ramnani). Of course, Mike buries his head in the sand and ignores all the signs and soon he comes to a crossroad in his life where important decisions could literally mean life or death.
Let’s get one thing straight; this movie does not deserve the overly harsh, negativity that has enveloped it. It may not be the greatest movie ever made but there are elements that are done fairly well. Accused of being a typical hackneyed Brit gangster flick with cockneys uttering phrases such as ‘apple and pears’, ‘dog and bone’ Guy Ritchie style, is way off the mark. Instead what is presented is an interesting but grim tale of how we can be enticed by ‘easy’ money, riches and how things can spiral out of control.
Nick Nevern and Simon Phillips do an admirable job of carrying the movie with assured performances as Mike Jacobs and Eddie Hill respectively. These characters, although unsavoury and not particularly likeable, they are at times interesting due to the scenarios they find themselves in. Paul Tanter’s direction is steady with a tiny amount of humour inserted and despite the script being clunky at times; it does well to use football hooliganism as a backdrop to make the subject matter of credit card fraud more interesting.
If one expects White Collar Hooligan to be similar to Green Street or Awaydays, then prepare to be disappointed. The obvious factor that links this to the aforementioned movies is the football after-match thuggery. The focus of the film is not the credit card scam or football violence but rather the relationships Mike has with his best friend Eddie, girlfriend Katie, his colleagues as well as the choices he makes. Unfortunately this is not done in enough depth to be truly engaging.
With a running time of just over 75 minutes, White Collar Hooligan does fall short due to its disjointed script and somewhat lack of feature film feel and would probably have worked better as a TV movie or a two/three-part drama where the characters could have been examined in more detail.
However all is not lost because it’s not deemed entirely unwatchable mainly thanks to Nevern and Phillips’ strong performances.
FMV Rating **½