Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Jul 29 2008You’d be hard pressed to justify forming tight-knit squads of men in a local pub, tooling them up with axe-handles, Stanley knifes and baseball bats, then rushing out on to the streets to beat the living daylights out of other such gangs. Yet ex-firm ringleader-cum-true crime author Cass Pennant argues differently in this meat-and-potatoes cinematic retelling of his life as the skull-trampling football hooligan who headed up West Ham’s infamous Inter City Firm, painting tribal violence as blissful relief from the hardship, unemployment and embedded racism of Thatcher’s Britain.
Newcomer Nonso Anozie delivers a charismatic, finely tempered turn in the title role, switching from hot to cold on the turn of a dime and eking some humanity from a man who – on the surface – is an anti-social brute. Though the narrative is saggy and you feel there’s nowhere left to go after the first hour, a much-needed dash of class from Jon S Baird’s direction helps lift ‘Cass’ above its oft-reactionary genre brethren.
Author: David Jenkins