Green Street Hooligans Movie Review

Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart from his role as Frodo in the obsessively popular Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Portraying peculiar supporting characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Spy Kids 3-D, he's definitely made a valiant effort. He continues with Green Street Hooligans, this time attempting to play a tough guy. This is a first for Wood... and, hopefully, a last.

Originally titled just Hooligans, the film begins as a Harvard journalism student named Matt (Wood) is wrongfully expelled. To escape from his father's judgment, he jumps aboard a plane headed to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Almost immediately -- maybe out of rebellion, maybe out of curiosity -- he ditches sis and her hubby to hit the local pubs and football games (soccer for Americans) with Steve's irresponsible brother, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), and his band of hard-edged, hooligan friends.

Normally a quiet and reserved bloke, Matt is shocked to find himself at home in Pete's world -- and Pete's world is a rough place. English gangs -- called firms -- encourage their local football teams by throwing obscenely violent brawls with their rivals. Before he realizes what's happening, Matt finds himself smack dab in the middle of Pete's firm. At first, he's reluctant to fight, but once he begins to participate in the fights, Matt discovers that he can throw quite the punch, and deliver a wicked head butt. Hell, maybe this is what he needed all those years: The freedom to kick ass!

Reportedly, this kind of underground chaos does circle professional sports in England. It seems that Hooligans was made to expose to the pubic what's really happening in poverty-ridden United Kingdom. It succeeds -- I had no idea disadvantaged British youth were so directionless, vicious, and addicted to sports. In its unoriginal, self-important way, the movie shows that everybody needs something to stand up for. But the only thing these characters have to stand up for is jersey-wearing athletes kicking balls into string nets.

Green Street harbors solid acting, no doubt, from the supporting cast and, most notably, Charlie Hunnam. He failed to impress with his work in Abandon or Nicholas Nickleby, but here he delivers a surprising, knockout performance. Physically, the actor is not a brooding, intimidating figure like his character on screen. With what he doesn't possess in physical presence, Hunnam makes up with threatening, hard-edged attitude. He is -- simply put -- perfection.

Elijah Wood, however, is unable to do the same. Playing against type can open new doors in an actor's career or slam on the breaks, and Wood's "tough guy" train just came to a screeching halt. Granted, the point of Green Street is to show how a measly bookworm makes the transition to streetwise hooligan. But Wood doesn't pull it off at all. The quirky, "odd duck" stamina Wood normally brings to his characters shines through, despite his attempts to hold it back. Kudos to Wood for challenging himself in the role, but let's hope doesn't do it again.

Even if Elijah Wood's role were recast, however, Green Street Hooligans still wouldn't be interesting or exciting. The characters rush aimlessly from one street fight to another, without rhyme or reason or intelligence. Yes, the film is showing what the British underground firm world -- or whatever you want to call it -- is really like. But that doesn't make for an engaging story. The plot drags and drags, almost entirely absent of tension.

The DVD includes a making-of documentary and a music video.

Aka Hooligans.

Not in the hair!


Comments

Damean666's picture

Damean666

i think green street is the best film ive seen for ages. It has it all a big star and loads of upcoming English actors Charlie hunnam is a great actor who portrays pete dunhum very well at the end of the film you might become a westham fn tho come on you gunners

8 years 1 month ago
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bovver's picture

bovver

i thought bovver was absolutely brilliant in his portrayel of a football hooligan,a bit jealous that he thought he had lost his best mate to a yank,but in the end trying to do the right thing as all of us hooligans do.

7 years 2 months ago
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rachel and maisie's picture

rachel and maisie

he is so fit charlie hunnam it is the best film ever and i love charlie hunnam

7 years 9 months ago
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mrs hunnam's picture

mrs hunnam

i thought the film green street was a great film and the casting was spot on.. i`ve seen charlie hunnam in a few other things and thought his london accent was cool and he portrayed his leadership of the GSE very well.. i loved the fact that you could relate to the characters and the story line was completely believable.. being a former member of a firm and also being female i would of liked to have seen maybe one or two girls fighting but in spite of that the film was great and i am now totally obsessed with charlie......

7 years 6 months ago
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blondebbe15's picture

blondebbe15

i fink green street is the best film i hav watched in ages. it gets u excited cz u dnt no wats guna happen n i fink charlie hunnam(pete dunham) is fit as f**k n is a gr8 actor. i was nt a football fan b4 i watch it but now i am totally. BUBBLES

7 years 10 months ago
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bovver's picture

bovver

if big t reads this drop us an e-mail mate to paulwilliamfoskett@hotmail.com we must of been in a few scraps together.Green street is the best football hooligan film so far,i have just played a small part in the rise of a foot soldier due out later this year and i think it could exceed green street,it portrays the icf really well

7 years 2 months ago
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bigT's picture

bigT

I thought Green Street was a valid representation of the casual way of life. allthough the ending was abit sudden. as a retired casual (hooligan) in all my years standing my ground I never say anyone being battered to death but perhaps the directer thought she had to shock, also your mates would have intervened before you were hurt that bad, also it is not only the poverty striken that belong to these firms but young guys with good jobs and money to spend. it s more about the adrenilin rush so in that way it was realistic ALL INALL IITS A THUMBS UP

7 years 7 months ago
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rachel and maisie's picture

rachel and maisie

it is the best film and i think the rating should be 5 out of 5

7 years 9 months ago
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Green Street Hooligans Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 2005

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