The Rise And Fall Of A White Collar Hooligan (2012) review

Director: Paul Tanter

Starring: Nick Nevern, Simon Phillips, Rita Ramnani

“Being a hooligan isn’t a matter of life or death, it’s much more complicated than that.” (Mike, The Rise And Fall Of A White Collar Hooligan)

Don’t be fooled by the title of this one, because The Rise And Fall Of A White-Collar Hooligan is as much about the ins and outs of football hooliganism as The Simpsons is about the inner workings of a nuclear power plant. Yes, you do see the odd spot of layabout soccer yobbery but in total it takes up around 45 seconds of screen time. In reality, it’s actually a film about a large-scale credit card scam, though obviously that idea isn’t as immediately appealing as football hooliganism so that’s why it isn’t called The Rise And Fall Of A Cash Machine Scammer.

Guy Ritchie’s remake of Harry Potter was certainly a change of tone

The film tells the story of Mike, a football thug who’s down on his luck and doesn’t have much money. His far-too-understanding girlfriend is trying her best to keep his spirits up but he realises it’s only a matter of time before she gives up on him. Things look up when Mike meets Eddie, an old mate of his, during one of his hooligan outings. Eddie tells him about a possible dodgy deal that he’s involved in, one that could make Mike rich if he fancies a piece of the action too.

It involves taking hundreds of cloned debit cards and taking a few hundred pounds out of each cash machine with them. In time Mike, along with the other guys working together on the scheme, will make millions for a mysterious boss man, who in turn will pay them thousands nightly for helping out. And it’s win-win because since the debit cards don’t belong to anyone, only the banks are being screwed – and God knows they deserve it, eh?

“I don’t care if you think it’s a girl’s drink, I asked for a Slippery Nipple”

Naturally, things don’t go quite according to plan, and while at first Mike is rolling in money and able to live a lavish lifestyle of cocaine and hookers (all the while his far too accommodating girlfriend looks on concerned), it all eventually goes tits-up, coming to a head when he’s nabbed by the police in a foreign country.

While it’s a fairly decent plot and it’s apparently based on a true story, The Rise And Fall Of A White-Collar Hooligan is just packed with clichéd and uninspiring scenes. Even the poster tagline (which is paraphrased in the film, as seen in the quote above) has been churned out a million times before. Even worse, it’s impossible to feel any sort of empathy for a “protagonist” who is, quite frankly, a complete prick. The fact that he’s a football hooligan aside, he’s a wanker to his girlfriend (making her buy him a season ticket for him even though he’s skint) and later cheats on her with prostitutes while blowing all his money on drugs. And we’re expected to be behind him?

I just felt empty watching this film. It isn’t terrible but it’s just a generic London crime film and has more or less nothing to do with football hooliganism despite its title. It’s one of those films that’s so dull and by-the-numbers I’m certain I will have completely forgotten the entire plot by the end of the week. Don’t bother.

I wouldn’t bother if I were you but if you’ve got a boner for misleading British crime films then knock yourself out. You can get the DVD from Amazon here or watch it streaming on LOVEFiLM for £3.49.

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