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Jesse V. Johnson
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Set in the 1980s, Dom is a teenager who finds himself drawn into the charismatic world of football 'casuals,influenced by the firm's top boy, Bex. Accepted by the gang for his fast mouth and sense of humor, Dom soon becomes one the boys. But as Bex and his gang clash with rival firms across the country and the violence spirals out of control, Dom realizes he wants out - until he learns it's not that easy to simply walk away. Written by
Towards the end of the film Bex and the rest of the firm are seen going into a London underground station and through some very modern looking ticket barriers. See more »
[Terry bumps into Bex on the dance floor]
Whoa. Sorry mate.
It's alright mate. Teach you to dance like a fucking melt though, won't it?
Slow down. I'm just cutting a rug with me wife.
[Terry looks at Bex' wife]
No, you don't wanna make one with me mate. I'll fucking leave you behind.
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STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
A re-make of the 1988 TV play with Paul Anderson taking over Gary Oldman's original role as Bex, the property agent whose buzz in life is being the head boy of The West Ham Firm. Young upstart Dom (Calum McNab) and his friend try to challenge his authority in a nightclub, but are soon put on the spot and made to issue a grovelling apology. But Bex takes a shine to Dom and invites him to join his army...but as events go on, it becomes more and more clear how Bex's drive for his 'buzz' has pushed him over the edge.
I'd been expecting an adaptation of The Sweeney to be Nick Love's next filmic venture, but instead this re-make of Alan Clarke's original TV film has arrived. It's still set in the 80s but nostalgia for that era is the main decent thing you take away from this film.
There's no drive to this version of The Firm, no 'oompth' or real wow factor. It may be that the 'football hooligan' movie has been done to death and everything's a bit too predictable, but the tracksuits the main characters wear are the most colourful thing about the film. It's like a joyless version of The Football Factory, with nowhere near as much energy or real raw power to it. The clashes between the rival firms, separated as best as they can by the police on patrol, have a realistic air of disorder and lack of control to them but there's no really juicy bust ups to any of it. The film sort of just ambles along with no real narrative flow or direction, and with a distinct lack of fun or excitement to the proceedings.
Performances wise, rising star Daniel Mays feels wasted as Bex's sworn enemy Yeti, whilst as the man himself Anderson gives no real power to the role. He must have known he'd have to pull off a miracle to deliver anything even close to Oldman's raw intensity, but even if you don't expect too much you feel short changed.
The one thing it can boast is a reliably decent 80s soundtrack. But you get the feeling Love might be starting to take himself a bit too seriously and could end up alienating the fan boys who first got him noticed. **
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