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Rise Of The Footsoldier (DVD)

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18 Reviews

Genre: Drama / Director: Julian Gilbey / Actors: Ricci Harnett, Frank Harper ... / DVD released 26 December, 2007 at Optimum Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: PAL

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      02.03.2013 20:36
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      A football thug makes his way up the ranks in criminal circles.

      Rise of the Footsoldier

      ----

      I titled this a game of two halves, not just because it starts off as a movie about a football hooligan who ventures into gangland crime but because it is a movie that goes off on a tangent without any real rhyme or reason.

      As I said it starts off as a movie about football violence, which centres on the younger life of Carlton Leach (played by Ricci Harnett) who was a member of West Ham Utd's infamous I.C.F crew or to give it its proper title 'The Inter City Firm'.

      We are treated to a few 'tear ups' between West Ham and Fulham and West Ham and Arsenal. Also included are two legendary stories of fights between West Ham and Millwall on the underground and West Ham and Manchester Utd in a rough Manchester suburb.

      I know of these stories as I have read a number of books on them and the stories in the movie ring true. In Cass Pennants 'Cass' and another of his books 'Congratulations You Have Just Met the Famous I.C.F', the same stories appear. In many of the other books about the I.C.F, they also get a mention.
      The movie does make a point of mentioning Bill Gardner, who was the self-confessed leader of the original West Ham Utd mob and later the I.C.F. For some reason he is portrayed in the movie like a bloke from a seventies soft porn movie, which I am sure many of the former I.C.F lads had a good laugh at when they saw it. I bet Bill wasn't too pleased though.

      As you would expect of a British movie about hooliganism and organised crime, this film features most of the genre actors who most of you will be familiar with.

      The movie is essentially about Carlton leach but the bigger plot line is about the deaths of Anthony Tucker, Patrick Tate and Craig Rolfe, who were murdered in a Range Rover in Workhouse Lane, Rettenden, Essex on 6th December 1995. On 20th January 1998 Jack Whomes and Michael Steele were found guilty of their murders and sentenced to triple-life sentences, one for each of the murders. They protest their innocence to this day. They were found guilty because of a witness statement by Darren Nichols. Nichols is now living under witness protection and has never been tracked down. He was a thief and a known liar as well as a self-confessed teller of tall tales. Whomes and Steele say he lied about them being the ones who murdered the three men and many people believe them to be innocent. Perhaps we will never know the real story and the only ones who could tell the truth are the three dead men. Carlton Leach was best friends with Anthony Tucker.

      My only criticism is that when it turns into the story about the three murder victims that Carlton Leach is swept aside and after being the lead for most of the movie you almost feels like he has been ditched and another movie has started. Once it gets into the story about the three murdered men it is Ok but it really does take the long route to get there and doesn't focus on the characters enough for you to care enough about them or what happens to them.

      That aside, this is a well-made movie, with some good acting performances. The direction is assured and the cinematography crisp. It is just a shame that the way the script has been structured made it hard, for me at least, to feel like I could invest too much in it.

      ----

      The Premise

      ----

      The film follows Carlton Leach who rose from a teenager fighting on the terraces at Upton Park to one of the most feared generals of the football terraces before becoming a member of a notorious gang of criminals who bullied their way through London and Essex in the late eighties and early nineties. Leach was feared on the terraces and when the laws were tightened he got into the bouncing game. He would run protection for drug deals, making sure they were carried out without a hitch. This led to him running raves and all-nighters as a way of raking in the money before eventually moving onto heavier drugs himself and mixing with more hardened criminals. The story reflects on three decades of Leach's life and culminates in the murder of one of best friends and two of his associates.

      ----

      My Thoughts

      ----

      I have already touched on my general feelings about the movie so here I will talk about some of the acting and actors involved and the director, Julian Gilbey.

      Gilbey is known for 'Rolling With the Nines' and 'Doghouse'. I watched Doghouse a few nights ago and can't even bring myself to review it, it was that bad. Saying that though, I did enjoy his latest film 'A Lonely Place to Die'. Gilbey does have a very distinct style of direction and I must say that he knows what he is doing. The direction on this movie belies the fact that he has only made a few films. He is however, a Bafta winning director for his movie direction on 'Rolling With the Nines' and is also an editor and screen writer.

      This is due in no small way to the cinematography of Ali Hasad who also worked on Doghouse and SA Lonely Place to Die.

      The film does pace nicely until the switch in story when it becomes a bit mish-mashed and leaves you wondering who you are supposed to be following now.

      The films budget was four million and it only managed to recoup one hundred and seventy thousand at the box office, with over half that being in the opening weekend.

      The soundtrack to the movie is rather good and I wouldn't mind picking it up on the cheap. It features some great British bands and some great music including 'Sham 69', whom, if you are a West Ham fan, you will know are big Hammers fans. 'The Groundhogs', 'The River' and 'Guy Called Gerald' also feature. The original score by Sandy McClelland and Ross Cullum is also available across the net and in all good record shops on the River Media Group label. It contains twenty-five tracks and a bonus track.

      Ricci Harnett plays Carlton Leach and he plays it well, although the narration did grate on me a little after a while as the cockney slang expletive grew a little tiring.

      The film opens with said narration with the lines 'It was the end of an era. But before the murders, the torture, the beatings and the ecstasy... before all of that, there was football. You see, football was where all the spite and the hatred first came from. On those terraces... well, it's where it all began for me.'

      Most of these actors have starred in a handful of these British genre films and Harnett is no different. He played a cop in 'The Rise of the White Collar Hooligan' and he is probably most famous for his role in '28 days Later' as 'Mitchell'.

      Billy Murray makes his umpteenth gang member appearance. You will know him from his days in Eastenders as Johnny Allen (as a gangster of course) and from his earlier career as Don Beech in ITV's 'The Bill'. He plays Michael Steele, one of the accused murderers in the film.

      Craig Fairbrass is an actor I have never took to, or to be fairer an actor whose characters I have never liked. That must be a certain testament to his skill as you are not meant to like most of the characters I have played. He didn't disappoint me in this as I hated him. He played one of the gangsters who are eventually murdered, Patrick Tate and if he was anything like Fairbrass' portrayal of him then I would've give him a wide berth.

      Frank Harper, who has starred in numerous hooligan movies makes an appearance again as Jack Whomes, one of the men accused of murder. It is quite a played-down role for Harper who is usually the mouthy cockney at the forefront of most gangs.

      Neil Maskell has broken into this group of actors over the last few years and has starred in 'Kill List' and played small parts in many other movies in this genre. I must admit I am not really a fan of his either but fair play to him for breaking into acting.

      Roland Manookian is another who has been in a handful of films across the genre and he plays Craig Rolfe, who was the third murder victim.

      Overall I would recommend it to fans of the genre but as a film to watch for entertainment I would suggest that mainstream viewers would find it a hard slog.

      It is a violent movie and is an eighteen certificate due to strong bloody/brutal violence, torture and language throughout, drug use, sexuality, and some graphic nudity.

      The 2 Disc edition DVD can be brought from many sites on the internet for between two and nine pounds and includes Special Features of deleted scenes, feature commentaries and interviews with cast and crew.

      I would rate the movie three out of five stars.

      ©Lee Billingham

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        08.01.2011 19:41
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        Best of the Rettendon triple murders based films.

        For some reason the 1995 triple murders of three "Gangsters" in Rettendon, Essex, continues to fascinate and to this date has been the inspiration for three feature films. Rise of the Footsoldier is portrayed as telling the story of Carlton Leach, a former football thug and doorman. But all too soon the film drifts away from its subject matter and concentrates on the story of the Rettendon murders of Tony Tucker, Patrick Tate and Craig Rolfe. Now whilst most would agree that this story is perhaps of more interest than that of Carlton Leach, I'm more than sure that a film concentrating on Carlton's early life as a football hooligan would have been of interest and judging by the popularity of similar themed films would have had a market also.

        Twenty minutes into the film and we have skipped through Carlton's early life and moved on to his phase as a doorman where he would first meet Tony Tucker. There is a brief interruption where a very dubious sounding plot of Turkish drug barons administering truth serum and torturing Carlton's crew over some missing heroin is played out before we leave the Carlton Leach story altogether and concentrate on the characters of Tucker, Tate and Rolfe. It has to be said that Craig Fairbrass nails the character portrayal of Patrick Tate and his performance brings home to you how out of control and violent this man could become at the slightest provocation.

        For some reason Julian Gilbey wrote the character of Craig Rolfe to be less intimidating and more of a gopher in the film than was true in reality. Roland Manookian seems miscast to portray the real Craig Rolfe but for the fictional film version he plays an adequate snivelling sidekick who bears the brunt of Tucker and Tate's anger on more than one occasion. Terry Stone seems a little cartoonish as the violent Tony Tucker and the wig he wears in the film adds to that overall effect. There is lots of shouting and posturing but none of it is believable and you can't help feeling that he is the weak link actor wise of the three.

        Despite the films flaws (and there are a few) writer and director Julian Gilbey excels at filming an action scene and the scenes involving the murders in the Range Rover are very believable if disturbing. At the conclusion of the film we cut back to a distraught Leach as he frantically tries to contact Tucker once news of a triple murder breaks out. Ricci Harnett who portrays Carlton seems limited in his acting ability and the task of showing emotion seems beyond him judging by this performance. Harnett seems more comfortable muttering and scowling but even then he is not that convincing as a tough guy.

        Off the three films made to date about this triple murder (Essex Boys, Rise of the Footsoldier and Bonded by Blood) I would rate Rise of the Footsoldier the best of the three. It is not a great film but you have to remember that these films have small budgets and they do the best they can within these restraints. For the action sequences and Craig Fairbrass as the violent Patrick Tate this film is worth viewing alone. Just don't expect Goodfellas.

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        02.05.2010 20:28
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        One man's rise from being a football hooligan and bouncer to a respected gangster.

        Rise Of The Footsoldier (2007) is a film about Carlton Leach and according to the dvd cover focuses on "his rise to power as one of the most feared and respected criminals in the country". I read a couple of negative reviews on this website of this movie but I decided to have a look at it myself and make my own mind up.

        Rise Of The Footsoldier was the third film to be directed by Julian Gilbey after Reckoning Day (2000) and Rollin' With The Nines (2005). It was written by Julian and Will Gilbey. It was based on the memoirs of Carlton Leach who we are told at the end of the film "now lives at home with his family".

        The opening moments of the film set the tone for the next couple of hours - 3 bodies blasted to death by a shotgun, not a pleasant sight and already very disturbing. To be fair the violence in the film is very convincing and graphic, too bloody convincing.

        We hear a voice coming out of a mobile phone next to one of the dead bodies, it's the voice of Carlton Leach. Rise Of The Footsoldier has a voice over throughout the film during which Leach appears to condone the awful violence and torture he inflicts on others.

        He begins his "career" as a football hooligan with the ICF (Inter City Firm). I generally enjoy most of the movies that focus on this subject (especially The Football Factory and Green Street) but Leach's "Footsoldier" days are over by the 15th minute. I would have like to have seen this chapter of his life developed more.

        Soon we see Leach working as a bouncer who doesn't only punch unruly punters but he whacks them over the head with an iron bar. Surely this must be an over-exaggeration by the makers of the film? Wouldn't Leach have ended up in prison for hurting people in this way? This is one of the problems I have with Rise Of The Footsoldier. It's does tend to glorify violence a tad.

        Leach brings in his ICF mates to help him with his bouncing duties including the infamous Cass Pennant. If you like football violence movies you'll enjoy Cass. Check it out because it's better than this! However Leach changes nightclubs and decides to take anbolic steroids to help him build up his muscles. However the drugs play with his mind and make him even more nasty if that's possible. His girlfriend at one stage bears the full brunt of it.

        Leach then gets involved in the early rave scene and meets up with a guy called Tony Tucker who introduces him to Craig Rolfe and Pat Tate. Tate in particular is not a man to meet in a dark alley at night. Here's another example of the OTT level of violence in this film. Tate is sniffing some illegal substance while his girlfriend is on the phone ordering a pizza. When the person on the other end informs Tate that he doesn't have the topping that his girlfriend has requested he threatens to go over and kill him. Regrettably he sticks to his word. Tate is played by Craig Fairbrass who starred as Dan Sullivan in Eastenders. Fairbrass is convincing as Tate, probably too convincing.

        Rise Of The Footsoldier is far from an accurate title for this film because the majority of the second hour centres on the antics and subsequent murders of Messrs Tate, Tucker and Rolfe.

        The 3 mobsters strike a deal with Mickey Steel, played by Billy Murray who is best known for the role of corrupt DS Don Beech in The Bill. Their demise is better known as the Rettendon murders. In fact there was a film based on the events starring Sean Bean called Essex Boys.

        Rise Of The Footsoldier must surely contain a record number of uses of the C word. It's a very disturbing film with no humour whatsoever. It's too long and too violent. What I don't understand is if Carlton Leach allegedly carried out these disgraceful crimes (indeed at one stage he tortures a poor man to death by nailing him to the floor) why wasn't he ever arrested and brought to trial?

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        08.10.2009 20:45
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        Full of cursing, nothing interesting going on

        Rise of the Footsoldier is yet another film which involves the ICF (West Ham's football hooligan firm in the 80s), unlike the other recent releases this film doesn't really revolve around it but merely features it during the early stages, it is basically a drama which focuses on the life of Carlton Leach. How much is fact and how much is fiction, I suppose we'll not know but it seems a pretty poor effort to me. The football hooligan turned club door runner, really is an unlikeable chap, there's no way that anyone could really like him - he's just a prat. Likewise are many other characters in the programme.

        It seems to show little imagination, be profane throughout and really has very little going for it, I've no idea how it's gone to such dizzy heights as an overall 3 rating on dooyoo, as it's one of the worst British films I've seen in recent times. The only real action comes at the end (it basically builds up to the Rettendon murders) and there's really nothing to grab on to, the film is boring throughout. I only really held in there, to see how it ended - which was rather predictable.

        Perhaps the only really good thing about this film is that the actors do come across as completely unlikeable, if that was intended - they've done a very good job. It's certainly not a film you want to watch for the baby food eating, steroid taking, solariumised chaps of which Tony Tucker (Terry Stone) is easily the most nauseating.

        The film shows this gang to be a complete shambles and the film really is rather dire.

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        31.08.2009 17:22
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        enjoyable if you like gritty drama/action

        I really enjoy gritty dramas, espescially ones that are based on truth. You cant say that its unrealistic, cos it happened!

        Carlton Leach was a football hooligan who was involved in many illegal practices in London and Essex. The movie culminates with the murders of 3 of Carltons associates, and tells the tale leading up to and directly following this event in Carltons life.

        This one was recommended by a friend, and I bought it shortly after it was released. I have to say that I did enjoy many parts of the movie, I liked the changes that Carlton goes through, due to steroid and drug use, and seeing the effects that the 'gangster life' is having on the families of those involved. In that sense I think that the story is very well done.

        However there are parts that are not so enjoyable. Not to the point where I would say that I didnt like the movie, I did, but certainly little offputting moments that are either pointless or silly.

        For example, there is an instance of domestic abuse, which is quite strong, and probably indicative of the mood swings of an excessive anabolic steroid user. Anyway, there is a line in this 'You always hated that nose of yours' This line is delivered in such a strange way and is ennunciated perfectly, not indicative of a jumped up cockney beating up his mrs.

        The cockney accent throughout is a bit off to be honest and just sounds a bit forced. The narrative can get a bit annoying too, while it gives a good bit of interesting and relevant information, this is shouted at you by Carlton himself, quite annoying and seems as though his actions are constantly being validated by the filmmakers.

        The football secenes were quite gritty but quite good portrayals I think, not that I have ever been in a football fight. I like how there was some 'real life' footage shown of the hooliganism, at the time that it was really getting out of hand.

        I have read some of the other reviews, and agree partially that Carlton is portrayed as a bit of a hero, cannot be hurt type thing, but I can also see throughout the story how the drugs take hold, leaving him unable to control himself and eating babyfood, this is not the actions of a hero I think. Yes he was a tough nut, but this is how he became a notorious gangster, but being cold and violent. However there are scenes where he is very badly hurt, although, perhaps with a little creative input, these are very few and far between!

        I like the cinematogrophy of this movie, how the gritty parts are actually darker in colour and tone than the more pleasant memories that he has, and I like this style of filming.

        I found this a good representation of facts from the point of view of a gangster who has probably 'bigged himself up' for the purpose of telling the stories over the years, and an enjoyable film

        WARNING; This film is very graphic and is very deserving of its 18 rating. Blood and the C word are rife, so beware of this before watching. Some of the violence is a tad unnecessary, and doesnt add anything to the story other than the concern over the fact that someone actually lived like this.

        Also, the song at the end, is great, and haunting i think.

        The DVD does have a good number of decent extras including autitions, outtakes and the making of..makes it a decent buy.

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        10.07.2009 15:58
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        A terrible example of what can often be an enjoyable genre

        I was given this film by a friend to watch as he said it was good. He was wrong.

        Rise Of The Footsoldier tells the true story of Carlton Leach, played by Ricci Harnett. It shows his route from football hooligan to doorman, bodybuilder and supposedly one of Essex and London's feared criminal gang leaders. The story goes on to reveal facts about the gangland Rettendon Range Rover murders of 1995.

        Whether Carlton Leach, is as much of an idiot in real life as he is in the film remains to be seen, but never do you feel any empathy for the character and believe that what he thinks he's doing is the right thing. There are a few comical moments and good scenes but it almost seems like an excuse for mindless idiots to cause extreme violence. He continues to mix with unsavoury people who can explode at a moments notice. Towards the end of the ordeal, sorry, film Leach is hardly involved and becomes a peripheral character. The only other part of the film i enjoyed was the song that accompanied the end titles!! The film also features Craig Fairbrass and Billy Murray of Eastenders Fame! But neither of them bring anything unexpected to the table.

        I couldn't work out what this film was about. It veers off at so many times to what seem like pointless bits of information. It left me feeling quite down and unable to see why it was made other than for a bit of needless violence and swearing. It says on the DVD box " BASED ON THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY". They're right, shockingly bad.

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          11.03.2009 13:20
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          Brutal violence

          ~ Hooligan, Bouncer, Gangster, Legend ~

          The Rise of the FootSoldier was released in 2007 but I watched it for the first time last weekend. I hadn't heard much about it really other than it was suppose to be really good and really gory. My step dad had borrowed the DVD of a work friend so he, my mum and I decided to give it a go. We all like gangster films so I was expecting it to be pretty good. The film has got a pretty good cast including Craig Fairbrass who I had previously watched ion White Noise 2- The Light a few days before. He plays gangsters and bad guys very well so I was expecting him to play a good part in this. Even though the film did not have a director I knew I didn't doubt it by the sound of the plot and the actors used. Another aspect that interested me was that the film is based on a true story which I always like about a film. My expectations were not disappointed and I will properly buy it on DVD when I have a few spare pounds.

          ~ INFO ~

          Director- Julian Gilbey

          Julian is a fairly new director and I haven't really heard of him before this film. He has directed two other films which are- Rollin' with the Nines in 2006 and Reckoning Day in 2002 both I haven't even heard of.

          Writers- Julian Gilbey and Will Gilbey
          Distributed- Optimum Releasing
          Release date- 1 December 2008 (USA)
          26 December (UK)
          Runtime- 119 Mins
          Certificate- 18

          ~ PLOT ~

          The Rise of the FootSoldier follows the life of Carlton Leach in the late eighties through to the nineties. It shows him from his teens growing up in a violent world including football hooliganism which he becomes so involved in it becomes his life. Carlton lives in three stages throughout this time the first being his football violence, the second shows him moving onto being a nightclub bouncer. Still his life involves violence, drugs and criminal activity.
          He becomes one of the most feared and dangerous criminals around and becomes involved with other gangsters such as the Turkish Mafia.

          ~ CAST and CHARACTERS ~
          Main Characters

          Ricci Harnett- Carlton Leech
          Carlton is the main protagonist and we see his character develop through violence, drugs and death. He is a very confident and sometimes cocky bloke and doesn't care about much. He is a terrible husband and has no input to his children's lives. He is strong minded and fierce with his enemies.
          Ricci is a well known actor and has starred in many TV series including The Bill and he starred in the film 28 Days Later as one of the soldiers.

          Terry Stone- Tony Tucker

          Tony has a lead role in this film and follows Carlton's rise and joins him in gang work. He is a respected mobster and is violent, crude and cold hearted.
          The others seem to look up to him in a way and he is always in the thick of the action.
          Terry Stone is one of the actors I instantly recognised when reading the DVD case. He has been in many productions including TV- Eastenders and also My Family. He has also starred in Crush (2005) and Ten Dead Men (2008).

          Craig Fairbrass - Pat Tate

          Pat is the most dangerous man of them all. He is tough, cruel and shows no remorse for his actions. He is feared by many others and is very vicious when he comes to teaching people a lesson. Carlton doesn't trust him but keeps him in alliance as Tony respects him.
          As mentioned Craig as been in many TV series such as- Eastenders (Dan), Prime Suspect and The Bill. He has also had roles in films including- White Noise 2, The Bank Job and Far Cry.

          Bill Murray - Mickey Steele

          Mickey is another well known gangster and even though he is known he keeps his distance from the top dogs. He is smart, sneaky and powerful.
          Bill is the actor I knew most about when seeing his name casted for the film. He also has starred in Eastenders as big mean guy Johnny Allen and The Bill.

          Other Characters

          Roland Manookian- Craig Rolfe
          Neil Maskell - Darren Nicholls
          Kierston Wareing- Kate Carter
          Patrick Regis - Eddie
          Lara Belmont- Karen
          Ian Virgo- Jimmy Gerenuk

          ~ OPINIONS ~

          Characters and Acting

          The acting was done superbly. All of the characters fitted their roles and with many disturbing and cold scenes it was done very well. Craig Fairbrass made an excellent gangster. He always plays the 'mean guy' well after his role in Eastenders I knew I wouldn't be let down with his performance. All of the characters even though most of them were gangsters and thugs all varied which I really liked. I also liked the protagonist Carlton as you get really involved in his thoughts and feelings. I didn't really sympathise with him though, I guess that was because he is not really a very nice person.
          Even though Carlton is the main character, the film does take time to explain about the other guys and their past. All of the thugs are typical representations of gangsters. They have strong family values and do anything to protect them as well as putting them in danger for their actions. They also dress in suits and even most of them are pretty big blokes. All of the accents are great and it feels very believable.
          All of the characters are well developed throughout the film and you see what changes Carlton goes through.

          Cinematography

          The look and feel of the film was brilliant. It gave the right atmosphere during the harsh reality of the men and I felt really involved in the action. It had variations of all different scenes which kept it really interesting as it is a two hour film. It also included typical locations for gangster films including night clubs, warehouses, dingy houses and back allies. The whole look felt almost felt like it had a Blanc Noir affect and it gave the movie a real gritty and rough look about it, perfect for this genre of film.
          The clothes and props are also very gangster with the expensive suits, plenty of guns and lots of drugs. When Carlton starts his nightclub job he brings in many of his 'boys' to do the doors as they take no crap. They all look and sound the part.
          The amount of weapons used was really varied. The three stages of Carlton's life include different props but it is very well used. The football hooligans used pretty much everything for hand to hand combat. Baseball bats, knifes and obviously their fists. They also had hand made weaponry including wood with nails, it mainly included anything they could get their hands on especially glass bottles and metal poles. This gave it the gory, nasty violence.

          Narrative

          The story was good and easy to follow. The scenes were not rushed and went at a good pace. I liked the three stages of Carlton's life and how it changed him. The football Hooliganism shows a horrid reality of how men can ruin a sport. Many of them didn't care about the football and only went for the thrill to fight which sadly still happens in some of today's matches. Carlton was instantly thrown into a violent life. The next stage of the Nightclub bouncer job was interesting. This is where Carlton becomes well known to the Top Cats and he gains a lot of respect for managing the doors. His life enter s anew stage even though it is just as violent he has more control and protection. This is also where he starts with drugs. The last stage is also intriguing. He becomes much feared and gets involved in highly dangerous jobs where he meets the Turkish Mafia. All three stages are well told and I didn't feel lost or confused during any part.

          Violence

          I thought I should do a quick paragraph on the violence used as it is very intense hence being an 18 certificate. While I find that it does really bother me some people may find it a little too much. There are many scenes that are so bad my mum had to look away and I can understand why, so I think those who do not like to see this much may not like it. One particular scene that I thought was pretty bad was when the Turkish Mafia decide to torture a mobster. The location is in a dirty, dark warehouse room and reminded me of a slaughter house. The gore is pretty bad in this including props used on the man including knifes, nails and metal poles. There are also many gory scenes when the football hooligans clash. Heads are spilt open, faces are smashed in and torsos are stabbed to pieces. The brutal realistic shots amazed me.

          ~ EXTRAS ~

          - Filming Locations- Calais, France. Essex, UK. London, UK. Suffolk, UK.

          The best thing I liked about the film was the brilliant soundtrack. It had a great mix of Old School which I love. The CD is out of stock in a lot of places but you can download MP3 songs.

          DVD

          The 2 Disc edition DVD can be brought from Play.com at £7.99 and includes Special Features of deleted scenes, feature commentaries and interviews.

          Recommend

          I personally thought it was a great film with brilliant characters and a good story line. It was very violent but that gave the film the atmosphere it needed to perceive. The account is based on true stories and it interested me to see what happened during these times. It is a great British gangster film that was filmed well and I will be buying the DVD.


          * Thanks for Reading, Blackmagicstar4* March 09 * On Dooyoo and Ciao.

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            15.02.2009 16:01
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            Rise of the Foot Soldier achieves a good amount of eye opening moments.

            If you've ever seen the film Essex Boys then you should be aware of the infamous true story of the Rettendon Range Rover triple murders of December 1995, which the story is based around. Rise of the Foot Solider takes a slightly different perspective on the matter, via the eyes of ex football hooligan/bouncer/gangster Carlton Leach. And believe me, this blood and guts biography is definitely not for the faint hearted.

            Although this flick treads on the same ground as Sean Bean's crime epic, this one is much more memorable for its intimidating violence and obscene dialogue. Ricci Harnett portrays Leach's lifestyle with great conviction, from firstly being a member of West Ham's Inter-City Firm, through to the notorious ranks as a London gangster. The first third of the movie is fast paced, and ultimately mind numbing. There is very little time to stop and think, and we're forced to take notice; it's appropriately uncomfortable viewing.

            Unfortunately, the second third of the movie isn't quite so gripping. For quite a while, the focus shifts from Leach to concentrate on the three members of his gang- Tony Tucker, Craig Rolfe, and Pat Tate- in an attempt to portray their lives prior to the murders. Seen as though Leach was close friends with each of the victims it is understandable that the focus of the film shifts, but it felt to me as if the story temporary lost its direction.

            Gradually, in the final third of the film it picks up again, and we begin to see the various interpretations of how the actual murders took place. I don't think we're supposed to feel sympathy for the fate of characters, considering their brutal honest personalities earlier in the film, but rather we are to ask ourselves questions about the chilling, and genuinely disturbing, accounts of what took place.

            Overall, Rise of the Foot Soldier achieves a good amount of eye opening moments that'll make you sit up and take notice. It definitely is intriguing viewing- providing you have the stomach for it that is.

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            05.02.2009 11:51
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            If you liked the Krays you should like this one.

            Rise of the Foot Soldier.
            ==============

            Based on a true story and the violence that accompanied it.
            We follow Carlton Leach who in the mid seventies was already into his football and the violence that in those days was always present. At just 16 he was already a thug and known to the police. We follow him through his life as he changes from a thug to an out and out Physco. Pain and misery are his stock in trade and he becomes rich and infamous until the triple murders in a secluded wood bring everything down around his ears.
            Meanwhile the deal for heroine with the Turks goes wrong and torture soon follows.
            Opinion; an extremely violent film that leaves nothing to the imagination. the fight scene on the train is gruesome, an axe in the head and ouch that hurts doesn't quite cover it. the camera work is wobbly and seems at times unprofessional.
            Watch this film if you liked the krays film.
            Recommended but with reservations.

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            01.02.2009 13:13
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            Well worth a look, a great British film.

            Maxim recommend this film and they say that it is 'gritty and brilliant' - All I can do is 100% agree with them!

            British gangster movies always have a raw edge to them and this one ticks all the boxes. It is faced paced, based on a true story, rough, edgy and full of action.

            Charting the life of Carlton Leech, this story starts in the heady days of football violence and goes on to deal with gangland killings and coming up against the wrong side of the Turkish mafia.

            I watched this film again and again and frankly couldn't get enough of it! It would be so easy to overdo the violence in a film of this kind, but its not the case at all. The story is well developed and pacy enough to keep us interested. The characters are all strongly played and bad wigs aside, they are well thought out.

            One of the highlights in this film for me though was definitely the music and soundtrack. They choose music from the different periods really cleverly and it really does evoke the spirit of the times portrayed.

            There are obviously, gory things in the film. The dealings with the Turkish gangsters are scary and cold. The final scenes are full of blood but essentially this film charts the rise of a man who deep down just wanted to have a normal life, without the trappings of gangster success, but who just didn't know how to achieve it.

            There are some well known faces in this film, many of them appearing in crime dramas over the past few years and some good old British acting!

            Seeing the alter-egos of the characters will make you enjoy the film even more. Many of them have contempt for women and see them just as sex objects (just watch out for the nurse in hospital!) but they all want to be family men too and have the image of being good.

            This is a must see gnagster movie, well thought out, well written and exciting.

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            23.01.2009 00:13
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            Very good film

            Rise of the foor soldier is a brilliant british movie. It is enormously entertaining throughout and is all about hooligan and gangster behaviour. It is based on a shocking true story about a feared gangster named Carlton Leach. The story follows a gang that rampage their way through both London and essex, with over two decades of crime put into 114 minutes of action. As you should have guessed the film is rated 18 and with good reason as there are sex scenes and criminal behaviour in abundance.
            For some the film however may seem to drag on a bit as it is around 2 hours long and can not contain exciting action for the whole two hours. Although for most this gritty exciting film will enthral you. It brings out the gangster in everyone who watches it. I have personally watched in 5 times since buying it around 3 months ago.

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            21.01.2009 14:22
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            Good film for broad minded adults.

            I actually love this film and have seen it several times. Sure it is very very violent and quite uncomfortable to watch in places, but im guessing that should be evident by the 18 certificate.

            It follows the story of Carlton Leech, played by Ricci Harnett and is basically his life story from nightclub bouncer to gang member. The violence is necessary in my opinion, as i should imagine this is exactly the way in which gang members would behave. It does have its funny moments and also tragic ones. I find it interesting as its based on a true event and gives you a powerful insight into a life that the majority of us will never get to see. (thankfully.)

            The story is based on the Essex Boys story, which focuses on the Range rover murders in Essex. So the story will be familar to some people.

            There is alot of swearing in the film, but again this is necessary, as it is dealing with issues that go alongside swearing and violence.

            Overall i like this film, but properly isnt for anyone easily offended by swearing and/or violence.

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              09.01.2009 11:14
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              must see !

              Rise Of The Footsolider is the life story of Carlton Leach, a football hooligan turned doorman turned Gangster within the "rave scene", If you like the new breed of gangter/football hooligan type films (cass, football factory, green street etc) you will love this. From start to finish this film will have gripped, and what for me makes this film even better is the fact that its a true story. Its not all glitz and glamour that sometimes is portrayed in these types of film and can be very gritty at times, follows Carltons life and family through very tough times with Ricci Harnett playing a superb part. If you dont know the story of Carlton Leach then you will be amazed, this is Brilliant film with an ending which you just could not write. This is one of my favouitre films from 2008 and i would recommend anyone to watch it.

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                14.12.2008 14:58
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                Average gangland flick

                Directed by Julian Gilbey, 'Rise of the Footsoldier' tells the story of Carton Leach (played by Ricci Harnett) a football hooligan who 'progresses' from simple bouncer to respected crime boss.

                Based on a true story (albeit with heavy artistic license) the viewer follows Leach's journey to the top of his dodgy trade - during which time we see torture, violent gangland killings and a whole host of shaky camera fight scenes.

                Ricci Harnett is fairly good in the lead role, and the viewer is forced to empathise with him, as although he's a nasty piece of work, he's the only one with an ounce of respect. As a character, Leach is shown to evolve slightly and (unlike his peers) perhaps mellows out a bit towards the end.

                The second part of the movie changes its focus to Pat Tate (ex-Eastender Craig Fairbrass) - a complete psycho who will do almost anything for a bit of cash. At one point Tate is shown cutting a mans face open with a pizza slicer - nice bloke eh? Fairbrass is quite good at these hardman roles, and has played a fair few of them in his time.

                As brutal as the film is, I wasn't really shocked by anything which was portrayed - probably because I had seen it all before in other films. The movie doesn't shy away from showing stuff like the result of a shot-gun blast to the head at close range, and in combination with the pumping music which accompanies much of the fighting, you can tell that the directors intention is to glorify the violence.

                The overall message is probably that it's not a good idea to get involved with underground dealings - but to be honest, there's no real message involved at all - and certainly no moral at the end of this one.

                On the whole, Rise of the Footsoldier is an interesting film if you want an inside look into the lives of gangland bad boys - but if it's realism you're after, then this movie doesn't really deliver the goods - fights involving hundreds of machette wielding thugs on the London Underground with no police in sight? - come on.

                A film that intends to shock more than anything else usually forgets to feature a well written story - and it's no different here. The only refreshing thing about this movie was the fact that it didn't feature Danny Dire - or at least I don't think it did!

                Rise of the Footsoldier isn't a terrible film - I enjoyed certain bits of it, but it's definitely not the best either.

                I would recommend staying away from this movie if you are easily offended - apart from the graphic violence, it's all 'c***' this and 'c***' that for the entirety of the 119 minute run-time.

                The single disc edition of Rise of the Footsoldier costs £4.98 from Amazon.

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                  20.08.2008 12:13
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                  A good British gangster film.

                  Rise of the Footsoldier is a brutal as gangster films can get, so much so its difficult to see what was actually based on 'reality' as the blurb at the beginning of the film makes out.
                  The film centers on small time hood Carlton Leach, who starts out as a football hooligan before becoming a crook and eventually big-time drug dealer. The film is well edited as no scene or shot last more than 30 seconds, this may start to do your head in by 45 minutes however. Its also full of EXTREME violence and not for the faint hearted - gangland executions, tazers, shotguns to the face and knives up the rectum etc.
                  Also, if you hate the 'C' word then don't get this film out - basically its used every other second.
                  The characterisations were good, ex-Eastenders Craig Fairbrass and Billy Murray were particuilarly good as the seedy Essex drug dealers.
                  All in all Rise of the Footsoldier was quite good, it held my attention for two hours, but it just seemed a litttle less grounded in 'reality' than I would have believed.

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