The Football Factory is more than just a study of the English obsession with football violence, its about men looking for armies to join, wars to fight and places to belong. A forgotten culture of Anglo Saxon males fed up with being told theyre not good enough and using thier fists as a drug they describe as being more potent than sex and drugs put together. Shot in documentery style with the energy and vibrancy of handheld, The Football Factory is frightingly real yet full of painful humour as the four characters extreme thoughts and actions unfold before us.
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This is a wild film. The whole concept of going to a sports event where the only intention is to kick butt on the opposing team's fans escapes me, but it seems to be the order of the day in England. This film involves a group of guys that are in a "firm" (read: illegal consortium) who do little more than drink, take drugs and fight. The story centers around one of the gang, Tommy Johnson, who is having bad dreams which he thinks might be telling him he's heading down the wrong path. Johnson is played well by Danny Dyer who I've seen in other movies. There are other faces I recognized but the only other name I recognized was Dudley Sutton who's been around forever. This is a very kinetic film. Others have likened it to a Guy Ritchie film and that is a more than fair assessment. Things move at near break-neck speed so the viewer doesn't have the time to get bored. All the production values and music are pro level so the bones don't show. My only gripe is that I barely understood one word of dialogue. The accents and slang are so thick I was only able to catch the general drift of what was happening. Had I had subtitles I'm sure this would have been even more interesting. As it stands it's a good watch. If you liked Green Street hooligans this should be right up your alley.
This film follows a group of the Chelsea football hooligan squad andfocuses on main character Tommy Johnson(danny dyer)as he starts to havesecond thoughts about whether he still wants to continue this 'hobby'.I must admit i have not read the book so i didn't really know what toexpect,the first 5 minutes loud banging music and people getting beatup and dialogue filled with c words and f words,i wasn't impressed.Then the film took turn for the better,you started to learn about thecharacters,their backrounds and the storyline started to take shape.Frank Harper(plays the Dog in Lockstock)plays a superb and veryconvincing support to Dyer and leaves you actually scared of him. From then on the film was a joy to watch and I would highly recommendthose who love ID,Snatch,Lock Stock et al to go and see it.The violence is my opinion wasn't that bad,it was grim but i have seenworse on CCTV cameras across Britain.If your fans on the above films itain't worse than them.Coupled with a great soundtrack,the Streets,the Jam,the Libertines allfeature here and a great ending,this film gets a big fat 8!
Full of mindless and senseless violence, `The Football Factory' may on the outset appear to be nothing more than male entertainment of the morally debased kind, but really it's a study on the inherent need for a sense of release. It's about boys and men wanting, no needing, to get a few things off their chest, and if that means kicking in a few heads well then so be it. They run the streets like gangs, setting matches where they freely beat each other mercilessly but when Tommy (Dyer) makes enemies with a rival team he ends up starting a war, and in the midst of that war he begins to wonder if this life he leads, living from one fight to one screw to one drink, is really worth the pain. Bottom line is "yes" and so is this movie. It may not be for everyone, and no it's not as `deep' as say `Fight Club' but it still packs a punch and proves a point, if you take the time to pay attention.
I was put off watching this film for the last three years because Iassumed it was just another weary British gangster flick similar to therubbish Guy Ritchie churns out. I have to say I was wrong to prejudgethis movie. Nick Love is clearly good at working with actors; theperformances are excellent. Frank Harper who plays Billy Bright isfantastic - he always appears to be on the cusp of explosive violence,and it can be quite terrifying to watch. Love is adept at creating realtension; the build-up to each ruck between 'firms' is thrilling. It'snot Hitchcock but it doesn't pretend to be, although there are somereally interesting shots. It's top drawer entertainment and better mostof the garbage that fills your DVD store. I would highly recommend thisto anyone who likes realistic and gritty films, and doesn't mindoccasional stomach turning violence.
Adapted from John King's novel, The Football Factory is a vibrantsynthesis of Snatch, Trainspotting and that episode of Grange Hillwhere the boys organised a fight with another school. The storyconcentrates on three members of the infamous Chelsea Headhunter's'firm', who use their team's matches as an excuse to brawl with rivalpseudo-supporters; narrator and stereotypical twenty-something ladTommy, dimwitted hardman Billy and repugnant rat-boy Zebedee (so-calledbecause he likes 'white powder').Although Tommy enjoys the adrenaline-rush of fighting, he is plagued byvisions of a serious beating and starts to question whether thelifestyle is 'worth it'. Along with friend Rod, he has inadvertentlyupset several Millwall fans, just when the FC Cup has pitched their twoteams, and thus firms, against each other.All the staples of British cinema are evident; the insightfulvoice-over, pumping Britpop soundtrack and defiance ofsocial-conformity (jobs and girlfriends are for losers, etc). Tokencomedy interludes are provided by two drug-addicted pensioners and ahilariously blinkered, Hoxton-like portrayal of Liverpool (apparentlyjust a deserted wasteland, consisting of five scallies and a burned-outcar).The hooligans are portrayed as surprisingly intelligent, misunderstoodpeople, embodying the brave, noble spirit of St. George anddisillusioned by a dystopia society that doesn't understand them; whichmay be somewhat difficult to accept if you've ever spent atrain-journey desperately trying to avoid eye-contact with drunken'casuals'. Otherwise the film is gleeful exploitation and extendstwo-fingers to any expected moral allegories.Director Nick Love's stylish cinematography and the young cast'saccurate, energetic performances are sufficient to transcend the datedsubject-matter. The Football Factory is an undemanding 90-minutes thatblows the cobwebs away.
At its very centre, the question The Football Factory revolves aroundis 'was it worth it?' It is a question its protagonist Tommy Johnson,played by Danny Dyer, sees written in shop windows and on the sides ofbuses as his life increasingly spirals out of control whilst hisconscience takes over and forces him to confront what it is he'sactually doing in life. It is a question that Johnson asks himself nearthe very end but replies to his own voice with "Of course it was!",before he witnesses an act of violence so horrifying that it eclipsesanything previously shown in the film. This would've left the film onan ambiguous note as to whether Johnson will now reconsider his priorreply or whether he'll even survive the next ten seconds of his lifefollowing this incorrect confirmation that it was indeed 'worth it'.The only thing that taints this final thought is the 'what happenednext' caption/image that spoils what is, essentially, a fantastic film.The film was Nick Love's second, second only to Goodbye Charlie Brightwhich was a bit of a mess. Here, Love takes on substance and he takeson a relevant issue that is linked to today's British culture; thatbeing football hooliganism. The topic may not be as common now orindeed in 2004 when it was made as it was a couple of decades ago, butit exists and The Football Factory acts as a sly reminder it does justas it is a stylish study-come-demonisation of said topic. The film doesthis through a variety of scenes but takes time to look at the bondbetween hooligans as this out of control journey takes place amidst asea of grotty and grimy locations in and around England.The film follows Tommy and a couple of other characters in Chelseafootball club's 'firm'. But teams are immaterial here as we look atBilly Bright (Harper); Rod (Maskell) and a younger member of the firmwhom it would seem has quite large aspirations in terms of climbing theladder within the group named Zeberdee (Manookian). Around all thislies the film's anchor; the film's one sane head who becomes a morehumble and a more mature individual when he suffers a tragedy himselflinked to his best friend of about fifty years. His name is BillFarrell (Sutton) and he's Tommy's grandfather. One of the morememorable scenes is the introduction of Bright himself, which drawsaway from both comedy and drama and just becomes plain frightening whenthe light hearted tone in a pub is replaced by pure menace once hechallenges a younger and smaller firm member. The character and hisaggressive, confrontational mindset is set up perfectly for the rest ofthe film. Another scene that compliments the shifting in tone is whenJohnson is cornered in some public toilets to do with who he is.The demonisation of being a football hooligan begins with a typicalestablishment of a night out. Tommy and Rod are looking for women and adrink and eventually they find both in a couple of loose girls withwhom they venture back the one of their homes with. The followingscenes offer light relief or comedy when it appears both males fellasleep but very quickly it turns into danger when Tommy wakes up with aknife to his throat and a fuming brother of one of the girls snarlingat him. He escapes and, in his own words, "that's when all the troublestarted". What began as a routine and potentially silly 'pick up andeasy lay' scenario quickly turns into light comedy and then lifethreatening before you realise the demonisation of the scenario hasbeen completed when Tommy turns up to work disillusioned, still shakenand slightly frightened. The whole thing suddenly does not look asglamorous.Twinned with this is Johnson's gradual decline into honesty about whathe's doing thanks to nightmares and visions, something that branchesout into a realm of the uncanny in this refreshing and multi-genreapproach that has already been established will zip in and out ofcomedy, drama and horror. The key scene in moving the film into thethird act occurs at a flower stand when someone who has escaped 'thelife' tells Johnson to do the same thing with Bright himself beingidentified as a figure you don't want to end up as; as a figure of suchhatred and violence and dedication to these two things that being withhim will only incur further punishment.What's interesting about both character's demise into this mindset ishow each one deals with the questioning of their own dedication. WhenJohnson asks himself if it's worth it, he begins to move away andquestions his involvement. When Bright's dedication is questioned bythe higher-ups after some eavesdropping, Bright chooses the wrongoption and ups the stakes by bringing in firearms following theknocking of his ego. Such a scene demonstrates the correct andincorrect choices when this way of life pushes you into a corner andforces you to make a decision based on what involvement you truly,truly want in a hooligan firm. The Football Factory is stylish butdoesn't glamorise; it is gritty and involving but you never really have'fun' watching it. What you do feel, however, is thoroughly intriguedby the plight of this lone individual as he falls by the way-side andquestions his own masculine identity amidst a sea of egos and violence.
MY VERDICT: **/*****The logic resulting in the production of this film is not hard tofollow. The scathing social satire and searingly counter-culturalTrainspotting was a brilliant British film. The flash-talking,fast-plotted, gun-wielding, hard-brawling Lock Stock was a good Britishfilm. So why not combine aspects of both? Predictably, the result is amess, but flashes of good film-making keep the viewer interested forthe 1 hour and 20 minutes or so of football 'n' fights.The opening sequence closely follows the Trainspotting format. Anarrator, later we discover called Tommy, delivers his criticism on howwe live our lives and how he has found excitement and meaning by flyingright off the rails. The soundtrack moves from one Brit hit to the nextas we are introduced to his gang in some snappy montages. Again, theTrainspotting skool of film-making isn't so much an influence as ascreenplay, storyboard and script.Soon, we get to know the gang, and learn that the love of their livesis violence, especially (but not exclusively) surrounding theirfootball team, Chelsea, and particularly focused against theirarch-rivals Millwall. I was preparing myself for some gruesome violenceas geezers started drinking pints and looking for a fight. And then,the film ... just ... chickens out. A film which is supposedly aboutfootball violence should, um, contain some football violence maybe, butFootball Factory becomes a film version of one of its thugs - allbluster and intimidation, and no bite. Supposedly hard-hitting actionsequences have soap opera-like qualities. Never do we seem to see afist connect in anger, or teeth shatter, or bones crack. Just some badpantomime blood and incompetent camera-work. This inadequacy seriouslyundermines the film's impact - it fails to pump up the audience to thenext big fight, and thus has no discernible pace. Just scenes, shotsand cuts.Instead, the focus of the film falls (rather disastrously) on theuninteresting, homogenous characters. With a sigh, I realized thiswasn't going to get any better, and began to take mental notes ofnames, story lines etc so I could at least follow the plot. Tommy andRod are the central duo, the thugs with brains, imagination, andperhaps the insight that will lift them out of this life. Bill is meantto be the ultra-nasty psycho - Robert Carlyle in Trainspotting wasclearly what they were trying to emulate - but some unconvincing actinggives him all the terror of a particularly in-your-face door to doorsalesman. Zebedee is there for exposition on the cocaine-fuelledlifestyle that all youths supposedly lead (is this true? I was ateenager for years, and I never remember being offered cocaine.)There's also an organised violence ringleader, although I don't have toworry about his name because he brings absolutely nothing to the plotat all.In brief, the plot follows the gang on the buildup to a particularlybruising clash - Millwall versus Chelsea, and particularly how Tommybegins to get cold feet about his thuggery and starts considering hisoptions. This isn't helped by some heavy-handedly (almostbludgeoningly) symbolic dream sequences. I quite liked the film-makingdevice of giving no warning or visual clues to as what was a dream andwhat wasn't. It's not put to an ultimate good use though, much like therest of the handful or so of original ideas in the film. I like thedope-smoking old men though.So is this worth viewing or not? Certainly, it's got more to chew onthan another awful CGI-overkill-marathon like Van Helsing or Catwoman.But don't expect it to truly open your eyes to another world, orindeed, still be with you a month later.
This review is from: The Football Factory (DVD) I thought the movie was really good and the dialogue is pretty good as far as British flicks go, I liked it a lot but I think the movie "Green Street Hooligans" is actually a better movie, but don't get me wrong a different storyline is always good and this movie has quite a bit of fighting in it, but you'll have to judge everything for yourself.
First of all I will say the film for it's acting, script andcinematography is very good.However I find this a troubling glorification of football hooliganism. I wondered why kids from the age of 12 up were saying it was brilliant.It's a lifestyle that has been depicted as great and thus somethingyoung impressionable teenagers will aspire to. The character of Tommy should have seen the error of this despicable,puerile lifestyle and not declare "it was all worth it". This film does for football violence what luis arragones does forracism.
I love the game,it is a beautiful sport,almost graceful.Though I tendto have one problem with the game,Hooligans.Don't believe those whotell us this is some sociological analysts of football violence.Farfrom it,it is garbage, promoting violence in the a sport which is tryto reassert control of this mindless minority.What my main problem withthis film is, is the amount of people who watched this movie,and nowseem to think it is something to do with the game. Mindless thuggery,loose sex and rampant drug use, gees,I like football but never wantedto act like a footballer, where are the heros. With Green Streetsinking under, I hope this kind of film will just be a passing phase.
We bought this movie after seeing Green Street Houligan's and wanting to know more about England's firms. This wasn't as great though. I would recommend renting it- definitely not purchasing.
I was wondering why there weren't many comments on this even thoughit's on the front page of a few popular internet DVD shops, so I rentedit out a few nights ago. Now I know why the lack of interest:This film is not about football and I wasn't expecting a football film.Basically this is a proper "lads" film, and like most films that fitinto that category it is pretty bad. Sure some of the characters areinteresting, and the acting from most of the cast is very good, but theoverall feeling is that this film is trying to be a bit of a joyridefor guys who have similar interests to those portrayed in the film. So,there's lots of violence, lots of shots of people stamping on each otheretc, and a good deal of attention is paid to the pre-fight bondingsessions that the characters go through (including lots of drug takingand shouting). Well done for presenting it realistically, but to me itsjust not interesting. There are a couple of very unsubtle attempts to make the viewer thinkthis film might be going somewhere interesting, when the main characterseems to begin to question the dodgy way he's choosing to live, once atthe start of the film and once mid way through. Then, nothing! we see afew more fights, the characters don't develop and nothing is learnt.There's a good scene where the scariest of the group acts insulted tofrighten one of the smaller guys, but even this is ripped straight fromJoe Pesci's brilliant scene in Goodfellas. Don't get me wrong, I wasn'thoping for all the characters to see the error of their ways oranything, but I wanted to learn something or see something original. The style was Snatch meets Human Traffic... so kind of fast and snappy,but not very original, and not at all interesting, at least to me. Thatsaid, due to the quality acting and totally realistic storyline, ifyou're a football hooligan or are in general into street violence thismay be well worth a look.
Arite i like the football factory but i think greenstreet is wellbetter and i would recommend Greenstreet rather than the footballfactory. Greenstreet has more action to it. But the football factorygets boring after awhile but Greenstreet there's always something newaway to happen.EVERYONE BUY GREENSTREET ITS A HUNDRED TIMESBETTER!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO SAY MYM8 IS SELLING DRANDRUFF VIDEOS. HIS E-MAIL IS firstname.lastname@example.org
This film is absolutely hilarious. And violent. And profane. And loadedwith drugs, thieving and general anti-social behavior. If you don'tlike any of those then steer well clear of this film. Having said thatthis film is also important. It highlights the amount of hooliganism onthe streets of England today. And what it leads to. Its not a majorlyflashy film - i think the flashiest camera angles are through cctvpoints of view, and it didn't have the highest budget. But it isbrilliant. Danny Dyer does a great job of showing us his charactersposition and what he does about it. frank Harper is just a completelunatic. The rest of the cast are top notch and do the film andstoryline justice. And seeing this is adapted from a book by John Kingit stays true pretty well, and I've read the book so id know. To behonest the best time to watch this is with a bunch o mates and a fewbeers. Enjoy.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning** Sunday Night * Monday Morning In what were still the early noughties, Nick Love sparked what was tobe a string of football violence related movies of the decade with thishigh energy, hard hitting exploration of male culture and the lure ofthe crowd, and in turn provided star making turns for both himself andlead actor Danny Dyer.From the opening credits, The Football Factory hammers your senses anddrags you in for the ride with it's high tempo soundtrack interspersedwith the various headlines of the scourge of football hooliganism, astyle it will keep up through-out the rest of the film. The film isaiming for your face and brilliantly uses a heavy beat soundtrack todrag it along through-out. It gained more attention for it'scontroversy because of it's violence and mind blowing amount of badlanguage than for any stand out performances, in much the same way AlanClarke's TV drama The Firm did two decades before it.Like Trainspotting, there is no 'plot' as such, it more just followshooligan Tommy (Dyer) about with his gang as he begins to suffernightmares and question his means of releasing his pent up energy,whilst a big clash with Millwall looms on the horizon. But this doesn'tdetract from it's startling, raw intensity and intense delving into theminds of men looking for armies to join. Dyer cemented himself as theRay Winstone of his generation with his 'cockney geezer' persona, withhis own cult film on the same level Winstone gained his notoriety forhis role in Scum. Special note must also be made to Frank Harper asBilly Bright, an ageing hooligan who can't grow up or accept he willnever be top dog, Roland Manookian as drug addled low life Zeberdee andDudley Sutton as Old Man Farrell, the closest to a sane, law abidinghead among all these repressed hot heads.Yes, the film is filled with mostly undesirable characters who are thekind most of us would want to keep a million miles away from in reallife. But only the most faint hearted of us would find their violencetoo much and only the most weak minded would want to imitate it. As anosedive into this world and as a study of why they do it, TFF is thebest film of it's sort all decade, with the energy, intensity andkiller soundtrack to make it accessible to a modern audience. It's onlya shame I couldn't appreciate it on as many levels as it deserved thefirst time I saw it. *****
this film was excellent to view some bad acting bits but well we are asmall island but shows a bit of true London life and basically whatmost young men would like to do on a Saturday loved the cricket batstory line London really is that small, never cross the water .....Jogon, if you do not live in London you might need a translator for someof the words not many that most of London already knows but the backlash [Neil Maskell] .... Rod gives the yuppies in the trendy bar mightneed to be explained to most northerners.through out the film you will defiantly be saying I know him what's heout of, a lot of uk faces so makes a change to see some of these actorson the big screen so to speak as most are from our regular t.v viewingGreat film will be looking out for it on DVD in the future
Nick Love's study of obsession of football and hooliganism in theEnglish lower social classes is extremely gritty, realistic andawesome. The characters are very interesting, the screenplay isbrilliant, everything about it is just realistic and very well done. Itdoesn't try to play nice, it doesn't take sides, just shows what goeson. I like the style of film-making, similar to that of Layer Cake andsort of Ritchie's Snatch. I liked this film a lot, one of my instantfavorites, and Danny Dyers performance was very good. I liked the realcinematography which made it feel very realistic, similar to that ofJustin Lin in Better Luck Tomorrow. 10/10
I thought this movie was awesome. Its basically summed it up really, goout and get a copy if you haven't done so already. If you look at itand all you've seen is blood and violence and it puts you off then isay you should look past that. This movie has a much deeper meaningthan just the unnecessary violence. The movie is told through the eyesof Tommy Johnson, a sound geezer who loves to beat people up on aSaturday, but throughout he is trying to find meanings and answers tohis actions which take him on more journeys in the movie. Yes, thismovie does tend to glamorise hooliganism, with no holds to its violenceand in no way does it try to demoralise it other than showing you thedamage conflicted to others, but it is what may even be referred to asa 'cult' classic, Nick Love has dared to go where no other directorshave gone before and produced a masterpiece balancing the best of theauthentic fights to the deeper more passionate story lines. This isEnglands worst nightmare? No, its Englands misunderstood dream.
Football violence is a horrible thing. Period. What "The footballfactory" shows us is a bit of reasoning behind why, seemingly normal goout and beat the crap out of each other because of a game with 22 guysand a ball. The truth is, it has nothing to do with the game. How theteam actually does really doesn't matter, as long as you get to playyour rivals because it's about togetherness and escaping the drearinessof everyday life. In a sick a twisted way of course, but it's the onlyway for these guys. The movie itself goes by at a million miles an hourand gives us characters that seem both believable and real, and areally touching story of a friendship that has lasted through the ages.The main character Tommy is a really interesting one: He knows he's onthe path to destruction and through visions of his own demise, herealizes that it's all going to hell and that he (along with the otherhang-arounds) are along for the ride. It's a movie that is definitelyworth an hour and a half of your time and you Americans should praiseyourself lucky that at least you got one thing right: You know how tobehave at sporting events (hell, at NFL games they have barbecues outin the parking lot where fans of the opposing teams eat and hang outtogether. Just imagine that at a Tottenham-Chelsea or Roma-Lazio game!)
First we had that quality film the Firm then we had the dross that followed it. This film follows the exploits of chelsea lads who are part of a firm intent on violence towards other like minded individuals of other rival teams.Problem is we get the same boring super firm stereotype, never get beat, all a 'larrf, over exaggerated cockney rhyming slang (Its like Alf Garnett on speed) walk like a penguin (or a 3rd rate imitation of Oasis) The film just drifts along at a walking pace to nowhere. So what some of them live in nice houses, so what some of them have families (Haven't we seen this all before with the film The Firm?)Boring, pointless and a waste of valuable time that could have been spent cleaning the drains or checking the guttering on the roof.