“ Genre: Crime & Thriller / Suitable for 18 years and over / Director: Paul Tanter / Actors: Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips, Billy Murray, Rebecca Ferdinando, Ricci Harnett ... / DVD released 2012-07-02 at Momentum Pictures Home Ent / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan Film and DVD Review
I won't really be saying too much about this movie as it didn't really captivate me in any way. That's not to say it is a total dud but after reading the blurb, which read 'A cross between Football factory and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', I was intrigued and expected just a little more in the way of a British gangster movie.
There is quite a bit of violence in the movie as you would expect but it is not in any way centred on football violence. We do see the odd moment of football hooligans in their element, such as the quick flashes and cut scenes at the start of the movie.
The movie is however centred on crime in the form of credit card fraud and money laundering.
Mike Jacobs (played by Nick Nevern) is down on his luck and out of work. He lives off his girlfriend who is willing to support him as long as he tries. To be fair to him he really does try to get a job but his interview technique is a little raw to say the least. He falls in with an old friend who he sees in amongst the hooligans during police segregation.
This old friend, Eddie Hill (Simon Phillips) is supervisor to a team of credit card fraudsters and he wants Mike to be a part of the team. Mike eventually gains there trust after starting out as a delivery driver and then becoming part of a four man team and being instrumental in stopping them from being caught by the police.
While on a job in Paris, Mike is caught and spends six months in a French jail. He doesn't open his mouth and his reward when he gets out is to meet one of the big bosses and be promoted to supervisor.
Mike's world is about to be turned upside down and he needs to orchestrate a plan to get away from these crooks so he doesn't end up in prison for the rest of his life.
Let me start by saying I have read a lot of books on football violence, seen a lot of movies on it and even witnessed it first-hand throughout the eighties all across the country at football matches. Before any of you ask, no I have never taken part and think that people who do are deranged but I am fascinated by it and what makes people do it.
This movie however isn't really anything to do with football hooliganism but uses its element in a stab at promoting a mediocre movie to gain some viewers. It's not even a very good gangster movie to be honest and nowhere near in the league of 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' when it comes to plot and cleverness of screenplay.
You can't really blame the films makers for giving it a go and I suppose they might make back the meagre one million budget in DVD sales with the help of the false blurb.
Paul Tanter's direction on the movie is solid enough and I will give his other movies 'GBH' and 'The Hooligan Wars' a watch to see if they are an improvement on this one of not.
Nevern is Ok in the lead role and would've been much more believable had the movie been about football hooligans. I will also be interested to see how he fairs in 'GBH' and he has just finished filming 'White Collar 2' and 'The Hooligan Factory' so it seems that directors see him as a good fit for the hooligan role too.
The movie itself didn't hold enough substance for me and I only watched as I don't like to dump films without giving them a chance. As I have said before, it is easy to trash a film but people have worked hard on these movies for up to a year in some cases and I think it unfair to destroy them. However, White Collar (as it is also known -my copy is) is not a brilliant movie and didn't impress me at all. I wasn't left wanting more but rather wanting more from it.
I give it one out of five stars.
Credit card fraud is one of the most puzzling crimes in Britain. It is fair to say that a huge number of people have experienced some sort of credit card or even debit card fraud and rates over the last ten years have increased dramatically. My partner has had his debit card cloned numerous times and my parents credit card was once used to buy thousands of pounds worth of lawnmowers and engines! The criminals that are behind this type of crime are intriguing because it seems like they are all different kinds of people, some who you wouldnt expect to be behind this kind of operation. Therefore, when I was browsing Netflix yesterday looking for a film to watch I was quite interested in watching this one because it covered a topic that I hadnt seen a film on before (credit card fraud) whilst looking at it in a football scenario and it was a British film and sounded quite interesting. This is a film only review.
The film begins by introducing us to Mike. He is in his late twenties and is in love with the girl of his dreams, Katie. They live together but things are far from perfect. Mike is unemployed and is struggling to find work and this means that Katies wages are being stretched trying to cover the bills. Katie is desperate for Mike to find a job and he feels quite pressurised by her to do so but he understands why she keeps on.
Mike bumps into a childhood friend who offers him a job delivering packages. Mike immediately declines, refusing to be dragged into the drug trade but his friend insists it isnt drugs. Eventually Mike is persuaded because he knows himself and Katie are desperate for the cash. Mike soon learns that these packages are infact credit cards. His 'bosses' pay shop owners/workers to swap the chip and pin machines for a few days. This allows them to collect peoples information and clone their cards. They then use the cards at a cash machine drawing out the maximum amount of money and as a result of this the small gang and hauling over £200,000 per night. Mike is amazed by this and drawn in by the money, but will this kind of career cause him more harm than good?
The way Mike is introduced in this film allows us as the viewer to form a sort of bond with him and become fond of him before the criminal activity begins. He is kind and loves Katie very much and it is fair to say he is having a bit of a tough time trying to find work. He is an honest man trying to find an honest days pay, we see this when he is so quick to refuse his friends offer of work. However, he eventually gets drawn in with the offer of cash wages and a car and in all honesty it is quite easy to see why because he is struggling financially and the gang is a large extended group of people, Mike thinks that this is the safest way to operate and assumes that they know what they are doing and it is practically impossible that they would be caught.
Katie is really the model girlfriend. She is a beautiful brunette who obviously cares for Mike very much. She is a hardworker and does all she can to support Mike but things are tough and she is struggling to cover the bills alone.
The opening of the film is intriguing and it really does help to grab your attention. I think that the way that we are introduced to Mike seeing him as the kind and loving person he truly is makes it all the more interesting because he goes from straight down the line to criminal overnight. He initially doesnt want anything to do with the operation but he is convinced by claims that it is only the banks who are worse off because they will refund any stolen cash from each individual customer.
The plot flowed well and I was interested to see exactly what the gang got up to. I was expecting the gang to all live really lavish lifestyles with penthouses and sports cars but really the opposite was true. Although the top bosses did live this sort of life, the workers seemed to live a busy life spending most of their time in hotel rooms getting ready for the next scam. They were paid well for their actions but this was all drank and snorted away in the forms of alcohol and cocaine so it is fair to say the money they 'earned' was just used to fund a party lifestyle meaning therefore that none of their lives really changed for the better.
The main actors in this film were all new faces to me and initially I was concerned that because of this the film might have been of a slightly lower standard but it really wasnt. The fresh new faces allowed me to see each actor as their character rather than the actor and I found that all characters were true to life and each one was interesting with their own individual traits and personality factors. A couple of familiar faces popped up such as Billy Murray who I knew as Johnny Allan in Eastenders and this was interesting and his character was intriguing.
The film run time was perfect in my opinion 81 minutes is definitely one of the shorter film times out there but this allowed everything to be covered in enough detail to be wrapped up well, fully understandable and gripping throughout the film. It meant that the end wasnt dragged out and instead the film finished in a concise manner.
The film was released in 2012.
It runs for 81 minutes.
It is rated an 18.
It stars Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips and Billy Murray.
I feel that this film wasnt given the credit it deserved. Up until yesterday I had never heard of it but I felt it was a strong, interesting and fast paced and I think it would appeal to anyone who likes criminal dramas. Recommended.