Danny has always wanted to be a football hooligan ever since he was a child. He managed to get expelled from school at a very young age and longs to be just like his imprisoned dad. He wants something more out of life, and how best to inspire him than to get involved in some pure, unadulterated violence with the rival football firm. He's not the only one in the mood for some serious chaos either; Dex is just finishing his sentence at Wormwood Scrubs prison and is eager to get his own back on his own nemesis Yeti. But when Dex and Danny meet, it becomes a quest to get the old firm together and re-live the fun, blood-soaked times they once enjoyed. However, things are looking a little dangerous with the coppers now on the prowl.
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Asbjorn is the fearless leader of a Viking gang known as the Northmen. Having been exiled from their homeland, Asbjorn leads his men across the sea Britain to raid the town of Lindisfarne for their gold, but along the way lose their boat and much of their resources to a vicious tempest that only by good fortune washes them up on a beach. Alive they may be, but their survival is limited. Far from where they want to be, the Northmen are forced to set out on foot through unknown enemy terrain, hoping to reach a Viking fort called Danelag before the enemy discovers their presence. Unfortunately, it isn't long before the King of Scotland orders his soldiers to go after them and they relentlessly obey. All they can do is kill everyone in their path and fight back with all their force if they want to reach their destination in one piece.
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Sadly, there has been such a glut of gun-packed London crime thrillers, that it simply isn't enough to make one that looks good and has a fierce energy: you need a solidly structured plot that goes somewhere unexpected. And that's where this film struggles. It's slick and atmospheric, with a terrific cast, but the story is so overcomplicated that it's almost impossible for us to maintain any interest in what happens.
At the centre is Detective Parker (Sewell), a shifty cop who's playing a very dangerous game as he tries to crush mobster Corso (Byrne) by undermining his cash-flow and threatening his son (Mascolo). Parker gets help from his rather reluctant partner Sands (Maynard), but rookie Riley (Gregory) is horrified to see the corruption he has wandered into. Then the efficient hitman Riley (Stephens) walks straight into the middle of everything, unaware of what's going on. He hides out with an old friend (Paraky) whose husband was also caught in the crossfire. And none of them realises that they're on a deadly collision course.
Isaac has a superb eye for catching London on-screen, using striking iconic locations and placing the action within the sweeping scale of the city. But his overuse of shoot-outs and car chases makes it feel deeply implausible. And his screenplay makes little concession to the audience, as dialog is peppered with references to earlier events we know nothing about. Clearly there are all kinds of interconnections between these people, but it's impossible to untangle them so that things make sense. Much more interesting is the way everyone gets caught up in the moral ambiguity of each decision they must make.
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Bill, known to his friends as Wild Bill, has just been imprisoned for eight years for drug dealing. Now out on parole, he returns to his flat in a tower block in East London to find his two sons, Dean and Jimmy, living alone. Their mother abandoned them a while ago, so the respective fifteen and eleven year olds have been fending for themselves.
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