The 1995 film ‘ID’ may have inspired a rash of knuckle dragging, petrol-station-DVD-bin football hooligan flicks, but it was directed by longtime Alan Clark collaborator Phil Davis and starred a cast of legendary Brit character actors. This sequel could’ve been a cheap cash-in, taking the name and the undercover-cops-vs-footie-nutters setup and ditching the rest. So it’s an unexpected pleasure to report that ‘ID2’ is a thoughtful, provocative film, far from perfect, but a lot more intelligent and ambitious than it has any right to be.
Once again, the real target isn’t hooliganism but extremism. Muslim cop Mohammed (Simon Rivers) isn’t entirely sure why he’s been selected to pose as a Sikh and infiltrate the fictional Shadwell FC firm. But he throws himself into it nonetheless, becoming a fully paid-up lout and attracting the attention of the local branch of the English Defence League, who love the idea of having an ‘ethnic’ on side.
The plotting may be a little ropey, especially towards the end. But ‘ID2’ has smart things to say about identity and social class, and strides confidently through the minefield of British racial politics. To do all this under the cover of a gobby, violent hooligan flick feels both clever and subversive