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“The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan” is a Brit crime drama written and directed by Paul Tanter, one of the diamond geezers behind the recent “Jack” trilogy. This should give a pretty good idea of what to expect, Tanter trying to mix football violence, gangsters, drugs and credit card fraud, with plenty of thick London accents along the way. Starring Nick Nevern (“Strippers vs Werewolves”) in the lead, the film, which lands shortly on region 2 DVD via Momentum, features a supporting cast full of semi-recognisable Brit character actors, including Simon Phillips, Billy Murray and Peter Barrett, all of whom appeared together in the recent Mark Hamill chiller “Airborne”.
Nevern plays Mike Jacobs, a standard laddish football hooligan type, who runs into an old friend called Eddie (Phillips) during a good old fashioned riot. Hard up for cash and being pressured by his girlfriend to make something of himself, Jacobs agrees to become a delivery driver for Eddie, shifting packages for him across the city. Needless to say, this proves to be the start of a descent into the criminal underworld, and he soon finds himself up to his neck in all manner of dodgy deals.
Sadly, “The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan” is a film which gets very little right. Though Tanter seems a vaguely competent helmer, the lack of ambition on show here is quite astounding, the film being entirely content to play out by the numbers and to slavishly follow the template set down years ago by a long stream of similar efforts. Adding nothing to the usual tales of supposedly likeable roguish thugs, though supposedly based upon a true story, Jacobs’ rise from football yob to international money launderer is utterly predictable, smugly told and without depth or interest. All the worst clichés of the genre are present and correct, so much so that the film frequently feels suspiciously like a half hearted parody, its football and crime elements being stitched together in careless, ham-fisted fashion.
Gaping void of creativity aside, where the film really falls down is in its failure to produce the goods, featuring very little of the kind of brutal action which might at least have made it brainless fun. For some indiscernible reason Tanter avoids anything too nasty, and though there’s plenty of shouting, bad language and gun waving, most of the film’s violence comes in the form of dull, uninventive montage brawl scenes, none of which have any impact or sense of danger. Matters are worsened by across the board shoddy acting, Nevern failing to make Jacobs likeable or even amusing to watch in the Danny Dyer style, and the rest of the cast barely even register in their generic roles.
In fact, the only good thing that can be said about “The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan” is that at just over an hour and fifteen minutes, it’s at least a fairly short waste of time. Derivative and pointless, and without the carnage necessary to distract from Tanter’s unambitious script and direction, it’s hard to imagine even the most dedicated of fans getting much from its drudgery, aside from perhaps flashbacks to better and far more entertaining genre outings.
Paul Tanter (director) / Paul Tanter, Raheel Riaz (screenplay)
CAST: Nick Nevern … Mike Jacobs
Simon Phillips … Eddie Hill
Rita Ramnani … Katie
Peter Barrett … Topbeef
Rebecca Ferdinando … Nicey Pricey
Ricci Harnett … D.S. McCartney