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I.D. (DVD)

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Genre: War & Western - War / Theatrical Release: 1997 / Director: Philip Davis / Actors: Warren Clarke, Reece Dinsdale ... / DVD released 29 May, 2006 at Universal Pictures UK / Features of the DVD: PAL

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    9 Reviews
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      14.03.2011 14:56

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      great

      .I bought this because I saw the cast in other things and thought they were quite good. I was fully expecting it to be something I watched once then gave away, -- at £3 it would hardly have mattered if I had -- but I was surprised to find I loved it. It's about 4 policemen who go undercover to investigate football violence from supporters of the fictional Shadwell Town FC. The supporters call themselves Dogs and their stadium is known as the Kennel. They learn how to behave like hooligans convincingly.

      At the start it's just an act; memorising facts & figures with no real interest in football, but as the investigation goes on their behaviour deteriorates. 'The Rock', the pub they are meant to be investigating becomes where they drink and the men they are supposed to be prosecuting become friends. One of the supporters, Gumbo [Lee Ross] was badly injured , he has been left physically and mentally disabled and spends most of his life watching Shadwell.

      John [Reece Dinsdale] in particular becomes obsessed, to the point of leaving everything he used to like or stand for behind. The others know where to draw the line but he doesn't. His girlfriend threatens to leave when she finds he's listening to a Shadwell game on holiday.

      There are some funny scenes - the rendition of "Get yer [sic] tools out" when the coach breaks down; all four men going to the Gents' ("are yer checkin' it's still there? Contagious, is it?") to practise football songs - but if you want a comedy this might not be what you're looking for.

      I think it shows how love for/obsession with something can take over people's lives and make them lose all perspective about what's important until it's too late, irrespective of whether you like football or not (I actually don't!) you only need to see Gumbo slurring, "Shadwell's my life. Without them I'm nothing, mate" to see that.

      The only problem is the sound; it's so indistinct I needed the subtitles on even though my hearing is OK. Though clear, said subtitles are politer than the film itself as some of the swearing is removed. If you're going to sit through a film as violent and aggressive as this one - which deserves its 18 certificate -- I find it hard to believe frequent bad language will upset you.

      This is one of those films that will leave an impression on you and become part of your I.D

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      04.06.2009 16:30
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      Copper becomes part of hardcore gang of football hooligans and questions who's on the right side?

      ID is about a group of undercover policemen going into a gang of hardcore football fans to find out where the power lies amongst the "generals" of the group and take them out of the equation. However, for John (Reece Dinsdale) the line between acting the role of a hooligan and the reality becomes increasingly blurred. He questions himself as he finds himself turning into one of the "football thugs" he was ordered to get rid of.

      With a great cast featuring Warren Clarke and Sean Pertwee this is a violent but often amusing story of becoming exactly what you despise and the struggles it brings. With a standout peformance from Reece Dinsdale, he really take you to the edge and back and takes no prisoners along the way! This is a healthy addition to the football violence genre but shows an earlier view of these events and conflict of interests than the likes of Football Factory and Green Streets.

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        02.06.2009 02:09
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        A must-see whichever side of the debate you sit on

        The football violence genre is one that has been subject to interest to film makers for the past two decades but no film really comes close to I.D. when it comes down to encapsulating what the culture is about.

        Don't get me wrong, like every film before and after it there are elements of the film that are beyond belief, something that is always a great annoyance to me given that the subject matter needs no glorification.

        If the film-makers fully understood what they were dealing with, they wouldn't need to come up with far-fetched sub-plots to "enhance" the appeal of the film.

        But given that we always have to suspend reality, at least I.D. sticks loosely to the match-day experience of a football hooligan - if not in the modern day then certainly in the late 80s/early 90s when this film is set.

        The message the film sends out is a true one, that football violence is like a drug, a natural high (albeit enhanced by drugs!), a mindset and a culture. It pinpoints exactly how it can be addictive, even if the way it gets the message across requires that suspension of belief.

        I won't go in to any more depth because it will give too much of the film away. But for anyone who doesn't understand hooliganism and wants to, this film goes a long way to explaining.

        And for those not interested in hooliganism, or find themselves repulsed by the whole culture I would still have to urge you to watch this film as it is actaully a very good yarn.

        In fact, I would hazard a guess that if you have no idea what match day is about then this film will reinforce your opinions of what goes on in an entertaining and, indeed, mostly insightful way.

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        22.02.2009 17:31

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        I.D. is a little known gem made by the BBC back in 1995, concerning football hooliganism and the psychological effects it has upon the police officers involved in undercover work.Filmed mainly in South Yorkshire, this is a typically gritty portrayal of thug culture; John (Reece Dinsdale) is part of the team attempting to infiltrate the hooligan firm of fictional football club Shadwell Town FC, though gradually finds himself developing similarities to the yobs that he was originally just supposed to investigate.A violent and uncomfortably accurate portrayal of the hard drinking, foul-mouthed sub-culture of English football, and just how manipulative it can be to the everyman's identity; this is the original Football Factory.When you go undercover, remember one thing: who you are.

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        11.07.2007 13:58
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        Good early View of football hooligans

        Director – Philip Davis.
        Run Time – 1 Hr 43 Minutes.
        Special Features – Theatrical Trailer.
        Interactive Menus.
        Photo Gallery.

        Main Cast –
        Reece Dinsdale – john.
        Richard Graham – Trevor.
        Perry Fenwick – Eddie.
        Philip Glenister – Charlie.
        Warren Clarke – Bob.
        Claire Skinner – Marie.
        Saskia Reeves – Lynda.
        Sean Pertwee – Martin.
        Charles De’Ath – Nik.
        Lee Ross – Gumbo.
        Terry Cole – Puff.
        Steve Sweeny – Viny.
        Charles R. Bailey – Mickey.

        Plot Summary –

        When John (Dinsdale) an ambitious young police officer is assigned to an under assignment he is sent into the hardcore football gangs to track down the ‘generals’- the shadowy figures that run the gangs and orchestrate the violence.
        But has john (Dinsdale) and the rest of his undercover team are soon dragged into the macho world, where hard drinking, and hard fighting are the rules and proves to be irresistible and john finds himself slowly turning into one of the hooligans that he has been sent to bring down.
        Not only is john in deeper than he should be his marriage has fallen apart, his drinking spiralling out of control and losing the support of his undercover team Bob(Clarke) is also sniffing old bill.
        Can john complete his task or will he be lost in the crowd on the terraces?

        My Opinion.

        This is a gritty and dark film that takes a stark look at the ever popular football hooligan and how easily you can be dragged into the circles of it.

        Philip Davis does a great job directing his actors and are some fine performances here Dinsdale’s portrayal of john really good going from respectable police officer to one of the worst hooligans the country has ever seen, his downfall is shown in detail has he battles the boozes and his attraction to the barmaid, whilst trying to maintain his marriage shows what undercover operatives could go through.

        Johns not the only officer to have a marriage to fall apart with Trevor’s(Graham) going down the pan to which he takes badly and falls apart getting drunk and causing a scene nearly giving away the operation.
        Eddie and Charlie’s characters are only supporting cast and there to add numbers to the team with them not really having much to do in the film.

        Bob(Clarke) plays the newly released from prison land lord of the local pub to good effect with a menacing portrayal and is good at taking the focus away from the real top boys who run the show and have more going on for them than just football hooliganism.
        The rest of the hooligan cast are very good with Sean Pertwee looking very camp with slick back hair and earrings, there is a good performance from lee Ross(Gumbo) who plays a hooligan who was badly injured and left him mentally disabled, but is loved but ribbed quite a lot from the group,

        There’s plenty of violence in the film from fights with opposing fans and when the Shadwell supporters go into the away end to start fights.

        Overall I think this is the film that all football hooligan films originated from along with the firm (Gary Oldman) and paved they for future films such as the football factory (Danny Dyer) and Green street (Elijah Wood) and is still the best.

        Watch it!

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          14.10.2005 16:41
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          A great forefather of some modren greats

          Recently we have seen a few films released about football hooliganism and it’s culture, I am talking about ‘Football Factory’ and ‘Green Street’ both of which I think are really good movies and I would like to do separate reviews of them both at some point; but amidst this I think we need to remember one of the forefathers, made in 1995 by the BBC, this film at the time was hard hitting and uncomftable viewing as it showed a real and true portrayal of the brutal undercover world of what football can be about to some people.

          Due to it being a BBC production when you watch this film you will see a lot of now familiar faces, for instance Billy from Eastenders, Andy Dalziel from Dalziel and Pascoe, and other household faces. It is my opinion that the BBC occasionally come out with a top piece of entertainment, it’s rare, but when they do it’s worthy for you to just sit back and take your hat off to them. The level of acting in this film, and the plot line are wonderful!

          The film follows a team called ‘Shadwell Town’, a southern team who are meant to have quite the violent following, from the outset the film is set in a police station where four police officers are called into a meeting where they are briefed that they will be going undercover to try and infiltrate the following of Shadwell Town. They are they introduced the last four officers who were put on his task; they have been found out and brutally battered. The new four officers are incredibly clean cut, and are laughed at due to the fact that they look so far from hooligans it’s untrue and will be found out straight away. They are warned of a pub called ‘The Rock’ where the landlord can smell Police at a thousand yards.

          So the new officers, hardly embracing their new roles decide the best thing that they can do is go out in the evening, divide into pairs, and cover every single pub and get their faces known. The film then begins to follow two officers, John (Reece Dinsdale) and Trevor (Richard Graham), it becomes obvious that John has more of a knack of what is expected from the start, the first pub they walk into Trevor wants to order half a bitter, John gives him a good telling off and reminds him that if they are to infiltrate the said gang they need to start acting like thugs would.

          They are then seen going from bar to bar when at last they discover the pub nicknamed the ‘Rock’, with men singing football songs, and a busy environment, they know straight away that this is the pub that has before been mentioned. They go to the bar and begin their mission, Trevor is once again caught making mistakes as he stares at likely suspects in the bar, violent football fans, he is confronted by the fans and interrogated about who he is. It becomes clear straight away that he has no idea about football or Shadwell, especially when he calls the best player they have ever had useless and confuses his racial back round. John once again steps in and saves the day.

          They adopt the persona’s of being painting and decorators, working in the local area, with John just introducing Trevor to the team of Shadwell, and slowly begin to infiltrate the fans. The film then follows their adventures and watches as the men slowly become more and more involved in the team, some more than others. This is about as much as I can tell you about this film without giving away the rest of the story. It’s why I find writing movie reviews so damn hard.

          This film was so good because it was such an honest portrayal of the average man, set in normal places like the football terrace, pubs and trains it is a film that most people can relate to. Do not however watch this film if you are against film violence, over use of swear words and the like, it will not be your cup of tea.

          If you are a seasoned television watcher then I am sure you will recognise a good few of these names, otherwise if you watch it you will sit there going ‘wasn’t he in?!’ and ‘damn, what was he in?!’

          Reece Dinsdale.... John
          Richard Graham.... Trevor
          Perry Fenwick.... Eddie
          Philip Glenister.... Charlie
          Warren Clarke.... Bob
          Claire Skinner.... Marie
          Saskia Reeves.... Lynda
          Sean Pertwee.... Martin
          Charles De'Ath.... Nik
          Lee Ross.... Gumbo
          Terry Cole.... Puff
          Steve Sweeney.... Viny
          Nicholas R. Bailey.... Mickey
          Nick Bartlett.... David Daley
          David Schaal.... Paul Funnell

          If you have watched any of the new football violence movies and enjoyed them I urge you to watch this, it has a stunning plot, great acting (unlike Green Street), and generally a very good film. Also if anyone wants to leave me tips on how to write better movie reviews, I’d love to hear them.

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            12.09.2001 21:23
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            Made in 1995, this movie is set in the harsh industrial areas of the Isle of Dogs in East London, and follows four detectives from Shadwell CID as they go undercover and attempt to infiltrate the murky, violent world of the hooligans who follow Shadwell Town FC. This club is a very thinly-veiled depiction of Millwall – the real club hails from the same area of London, shares a reputation for violent supporters who cause trouble wherever they go, their nickname is ‘The Lions’ and their old ground on Cold Blow Lane was known as ‘The Den’. Shadwell revel in the moniker of ‘The Dogs’, their stadium is called ‘The Kennel’, and the fans in this film get involved in countless acts of violence in and around football grounds all over England. Reece Dinsdale plays the role of John, who sees this undercover assignment as the ideal way to get himself a promotion, up and out of Shadwell CID – his superior is Trevor, a uniform sergeant, but it soon becomes clear the John is the one taking a leading role in the investigation. Indeed, Trevor is, for me, the major weak point in the film, as he is such an unbelievable character. Someone acting like he does (and wearing an anorak like that!) would not have lasted 5 minutes under the scrutiny of the violent thugs that the policemen have to deal with here. His actions and manner of speech all stand out a mile from the people he is supposed to be blending in with, and while John does effectively submerge himself in the life of the East End hooligans, Trevor never looks vaguely comfortable. Perhaps the intention was to make him seem like an obvious copper, so that the Dogs’ fans would have some reason to suspect that these new fans were not what they seemed, the effect was not convincing at all. However, as the film progresses, John and Trevor realise that to make any inroads at all into the criminal fraternity behind the violence, they have to get accepte
            d at ‘The Rock’, the pub near the ground, which they suspect harbours the worst of the hooligans – and the landlord, Bob, does nothing to dispel this feeling. He is played superbly by Warren Clarke, who fits the role of a threatening, tattooed skinhead to a tee! The continuing infiltration of the hooligan culture has many effects on the private lives of the policemen involved as well, and I think this psychological pressure is more effectively portrayed than the actual scenes of football violence. Early in the film, all four men are seen having dinner with their wives, eight friends sat round a table enjoying a night out. But very soon, the mens’ drinking escalates, their behaviour deteriorates, Trevor’s wife leaves him, and John becomes more and more unpredictable, and more like the people he is supposed to be fighting against. Some of the scenes featuring him at home with his girlfriend are quite harrowing, especially as their relationship disintegrates and he gradually becomes involved with Lynda (Saskia Reeves), the barmaid at ‘The Rock’. The pub does prove to be the perfect place to find the ‘top boys’, the hooligans who mastermind all the trouble at Shadwell Town games – they are led by Martin (excellently portrayed in a very dangerous, unstable manner by Sean Pertwee), and feature the classic character of Gumbo, the greasy-haired toothless imbecile who earns peanuts and spends them all watching Shadwell and getting drunk after the games. As time passes, the policemen start to take an active involvement in watching Shadwell, whereas before they just memorised facts and figures to fit in. They become fans, and the men they are intending to prosecute become friends. This is where the lines become blurred – where once they would not get involved in the violence they were observing, now John clearly gets a buzz from the fight. He sinks deeper and deeper into the mire, culm
            inating in a frightening knife fight in a marketplace after one particularly hostile away trip, and despite all his protestations afterwards, you feel that he has crossed his own personal Rubicon. This is quite an accurate look into the world of football violence, but while critical response centred on that aspect, I think it is far more effective when looking at the mental effect that the undercover work has on the policemen involved. They bear no physical marks, but they are still scarred for life – and it seemed completely incredible to me that Trevor and the other men would be reassigned to uniform work in Shadwell, the very same area in which they had worked undercover for months on end. Surely that would be far too dangerous? However, the concluding scene in the film, while a little exaggerated, does have the desired dramatic effect – is John really still undercover, or has he crossed over and joined forces with the very people he was supposed to be bringing to justice? It certainly makes you think, and the final chilling image begs you to remember the advertising tag line for ‘ID’: When you go undercover, remember one thing. Who you are.

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              22.05.2001 20:24
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              I first saw this film when it was screened on BBC and immediately went out and bought it on video afterwards and watched the full unedited version which was even better. It is about one policemans decline into the world of football hooliganism. The film starts off with John who is a policeman looking for a big case to get himself noticed in order for a promotion and he gets one. The idea is to get four policemen to go undercover with some of the most violent football fans following a team called Shadwell in order to pinpoint the people who are causing all the trouble. We are then showed the last four coppers who tried this and are now in various states of plaster casts etc due to being discovered by the same people who they are now supposed to be following. John gets paired off with a Sergeant who seems a little out of his league to be a football hooligan and you can tell he may not be the best choice for this job. After meeting a couple of prospective hooligans at a match they join them for a drink and get involved in a brawl with a load of Arsenal fans and so they become indoctrinated into the world of football hooliganism. We begin to get to know a few of the names but John becomes quite friendly with Sean Pertwee and the pair form a bond which John knows is completely wrong, also we meet Gumbo, a thick bloke with no teeth and as a consequence cannot talk properly at all. As the film progesses we see John slowly falling into the world of hooligans and he begins seeing one of his main targets nieces thus becoming even more involved. Very slowly John's old life falls apart and everything he had before he leaves alone, almost detests. He instigates a riot between some opposing fans by chasing down a bus full of fans and is also very quick to follow any of his targets into a melee. In the end it turns out he reports none of this, and most of his reports blame the police at the games for the violence. All this time he is also covering up for the Sergeants
              mistakes which cause some suspicion from everyone, especially when a pre-planned riot is invaded by the police At one of the last matches Gumbo is hit by a dart thrown by opposing fans and John appeals to the nearest police officer for help who tells him to "get back into the pen with the other animals". John, having been completely rejected by the police, retorts the only way he now knows and causes another riot in a market place by the ground which only him and Sean Pertwee stay at, with everyone else running away due to being outnumbered. This gets him noticed by all of his targets and he spends the night with all of them. During that night however the undercover investigation is closed down and they are all recalled in even though John believes he has cracked the case and knows the true reason for the hooliganism. Now he is faced with returning back into uniform which he rejects as does his former girlfriend. Upon returning to Linda who was his targets niece she rejects him too because she knows he's a policeman now. With nothing else left to do we see John at the end taking part in a demonstration for pro-whites still believing he is undercover. All of the targets in the film are cast superbly, none more so than Warren Clarke who takes a superb role as the pubs owner, Sean Pertwee is also superb as John's compatriate throughout this film. A mention must also go to Gumbo who was no more than a comic figure in the gang of hooligans. This is a truly great film which didn't get too much advertisement when it was first brought out and the television version is much edited with some of the best bits left on the cutting room floor. The only problem this film seems to create is that it gives the world of football hooliganism a glamourous edge with no consequences for the people who really want to be involved ,with John as the exception but that is because he tries to get out of the world,if you want to stay in it then
              all will be great.

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                27.04.2001 18:56
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                I thought this was a great British film. It is about a group of four policeman who go undercover in a effort to curb the increasing violence at football matches. They work from a warehouse instead of being based at a police station and slowly infiltrate the hooligan's gangs. However, one of the policemen John (played by Reece Dinsdale) begins to enjoy the hooligans' life a bit too much and begins to question his loyalty to the police force. He feels like he "belongs" when he is with the hooligans whilst he doesn't feel accepted or the same as his fellow colleagues in the police. When the others nearly get rumbled it is John's violence and attitude that manages to convince the hooligans that they are not coppers. Reece Dinsdale plays the character perfectly, and everything about the film is realistic and believable. I would highly recommend this film, but not if you don't like violent films as this film is extremely violent in some parts.

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                Intense, ferocious and deeply unsettling, I.D. is an excellent examination of Britain's unsavoury contribution to global culture: football hooliganism. Whereas Alan Clarke's The Firm showed the violence that lurked behind a seemingly normal façade, I.D. posits football hooliganism as a feral temptation. Dedicated, ambitious undercover policeman John (Reece Dinsdale) becomes seduced by the violence of an East London gang, ultimately becoming lost from his regular life with his wife (Clare Skinner). Dinsdale delivers a measured performance that sees him spiral from committed, right-minded policeman to shaven-headed, Nazi-saluting monster, revelling in the violent impulses he embraces with glee and, alarmingly, becoming a hero amongst those he is infiltrating. Warren Clarke is absolutely monstrous as the leader of the hooligan gang, a paragon of bigoted hatred and the embodiment of John's future. Often unnervingly realistic, director Phil Davis is adept at creating riotous mob scenes that chillingly accentuate the world into which John is drawn. It could be said that I.D.'s premise is too thin, and that hooliganism is not addressed in an effective manner, but it is without doubt a chilling character study of the temptation of violence and the horrific influences that lurk in the heart of society. --Danny Graydon