Football Factory: Hooligans In The UK

Football Factory is a British sports drama film directed by Nick Love. The plot examines the rise in football hooliganism, examining the lives of those who live to fight. We follow Tommy Johnson (Danny Dyer), one such hooligan as he gets caught up in a feud between two sects of fans and is forced to revaluate his life.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this in my reviews before, but I am a huge Danny Dyer fan and have been for a while: Dog House, The Business, Severance, Human Traffic all classic Dyer fare, and this fits in amongst that pantheon, though it doesn’t have as much charm as some of the others and is definitely rougher around the edges.

It is kind of crazy how badly this film wants to be Trainspotting, there are multiple moments in this film that feel almost shot for shot the same, with slight tweaks to avoid being called out. The difference of course is one is a British classic and the other is a blatant rip-off; I’ll let you figure out which is which.

Danny Dyer has his usual laddish charm and is okay here, though this does feel very safe for him. I would dare say that Dyer is upstaged by Neil Maskell, who plays his on-screen best friend and who also has some of the best scenes in the film, managing to inject a bit more soul into the film than Dyer seems capable off.

There are several moments in this film that are clearly supposed to be funny or sad, but in both cases the film struggles to achieve either. The first death doesn’t feel hugely impactful as we don’t really know the character, and the final death doesn’t bare weight as the film has done little to make us care about the character. The humour is far weaker, and the film tries less hard at this aim; those who the film is based on might find it funny, but anyone outside of that small group would probably be hard pushed to find a laugh here.

Overall, it is passable Dyer content, no The Business, in fact don’t watch this film at and just check out The Business it is a much better.

Pros.

Dyer and his roughish ways

Neil Maskell is trying

Cons.

The characters aren’t likeable and that limits the films emotional impact

The humour doesn’t work

It drags in parts

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

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