On one level, this is an affectionate celebration of floppy-haired, designer tracksuit-wearing football casuals. On another it is a rites-of-passage tale about a young lad who idolises an older, cooler role model, before realising that he’s a bigot. Awash with the soulful funk sounds of René and Angela, The Gap Band and Yarborough and Peoples, this version replaces Clarke’s gimlet-eyed critique of the Thatcherite ‘loadsamoney’ culture with a naive adolescent’s account of his troubled season running with Kool and the Gang.
McNab is sensitive as Dom, while Paul Anderson offers a subtle twist on Oldman’s violent Bex, but Daniel Mays’s portrayal of Bex’s nemesis, Yeti, fails to equal the intensity of Phil Davis’s earlier psycho. Love’s second movie about hooligans marks a quantum leap forward from the messy, senseless violence of ‘The Football Factory’, but, like Dom, he falls short of his mentor’s demanding standards.