"Stand Your Ground And Fight."
A wrongfully expelled Harvard undergrad moves to London, where he is introduced to the violent underworld of football hooliganism.
Not too cliché though it ends up being a hollow melodrama; the finished product dances between loyalty, horror and revenge but it manages to capture this terrible element of British society. Violence is relentless and extreme, making the entertainment fulfilling but the story has a lot of energy. Hooliganism is depicted as intoxicating and the "yankee" transformation looks real, as well as the violence defense and its final condemnation. Don't remember a film dealing with this kind of neighborhood wars. It's certainly a gritty drama and well acted, a portrait of young destroying their lives that makes sense for sure.
The acting is surprisingly strong with Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Lee Gregory and Claire Forlani delivering performances usually only seen from the big boys. Much of the credit must go to director Lexi Alexander who shows a real flair for tension-filled scenes and getting the most out of an actor.
It is a bit of a coming of age story for wimpy Wood as Matt, a journalist major at Harvard who gets expelled when he won't fight the drug charges that his roommate sent him up with. The rest of the film is Wood's search for his backbone. Hunnam proves to be an exciting and dynamic leader of men, who actually does have a soul ... even if it is a bit misguided. Forlani flashes her most expressive eyes and does a great deal with her limited role here.
Check this one out and spread the word on this hidden gem. The action is good, the dialogue is fast and fun and checking out the world of football firms is also very interesting.