• Green Street Hooligans: Underground

    Released By: Lionsgate
    Released On: February 24, 2015.
    Director: James Nunn
    Cast: Josh Myers, Scott Adkins, Jack Doolan, Joey Ansah
    Year: 2013

    The Film:

    The 2005 film Green Street Hooligans was a joy to watch. Centered around a West Ham-supporting football firm in London, it told the story of a young man unfairly bounced out of college in America who traveled across the ocean to hang with his sister and her new husband. Essentially fobbed off on the husband's younger brother to be "shown around", the stranger in a strange land became entrenched in the type of brutal street violence that ranked a firm as being worthy or not. Young man gains confidence and courage, there is some suffering along the way, lives are lost, and young man returns to America to right the wrongs down to him. An inspiring story, to say the least, featuring some stellar performances from a host of great actors, including Charlie Hunnam and Elijah Wood.

    Favourably reviewed, it made sense that a sequel would be made, which it was....four years later. Demonstrating none of the heart of the original, Green Street 2 told the story of the firm now in prison for the fight from the first film, now fighting against other firms in jail. One hoped that the lackluster response (and that's being kind) would have stopped the stupid sequel train, but no. Four years after the direct-to-video suckquel comes another direct-to-video continuation; Green Street Hooligans: Underground.

    Getting rid of any connection to the former films outside of the name of the firm itself was certainly an interesting way to get Underground rolling, and none of the former Green Streeters are anywhere to be seen. Instead, the story tells of a whole whack of different hooligans still in the same firm, and they don't battle in stadiums anymore; they take their fight for firm superiority to underground fight clubs, where cage matches determine the winner. Unfortunately for Joey, his skills are not superior, and he receives a fatal beating during one of the melees. His older brother Danny, who left the firm some years back to train fighters in a gym in Scotland comes back to Green Street, in the hopes of finding out who killed his brother.

    Danny's old friend-turned-cop Vic is no help, since he can't quite figure out where the firm violence has moved to since leaving the stadium, so Danny heads down the pub to chat with the Green Street lads. After his initial and unexplained hostile reaction to his old crew (oh, Danny was also in the firm, apparently), he reluctantly agrees over a few pints and some brandies to help the firm regain their old glory against their archenemy, the Millwall firm. After witnessing one of the new underground brawls, though, Danny realizes that his Green Street Hooligans are no match for the much tougher firms. The only way that he's going to be able to solve the murder of his brother is going to be to train his club to be mixed martial arts fighters, and work their way to the top of the rankings. But it won't be easy, because there are only so many inspirational songs on the soundtrack about not backing down to workout montage to. Add to that the fact that Danny is falling in love with the cute bartender at the pub, and that Vic the cop is not going to be happy that Danny is fighting. But there's corruption afoot in the police department as well, and Danny is determined that he will punch and spinkick evil to death to find his brother's killer no matter what the cost.

    Stupid beyond belief are words that I would use to describe Green Street Hooligans: Underground. Aside from the initial setup of the story, which takes about a half hour, the film is almost entirely made up of the kind of montages you would see in a Rocky film. Cheesy songs about not giving up the fight blast over the soundtrack as we see Danny and his firm working out and fighting, and working out and fighting, and their name moving up the rankings of firms. Occasionally we get a cut back in to real time in the form of one of many inserts of the pub exterior, or Danny talking for a few seconds, but that's really about it. Inspirational workout montage for an hour. Even the one moment in the film that could've been truly surprising and effective is only allowed to linger briefly before another song and another montage. Partway through the film, some kind of split-screen technique is used for some unknown reason, and all of the fights are identical.

    Scott Adkins (that's him on the cover) is not too bad when he doesn't have his angry tough-guy face on, and a few other cast members are okay as well, but we're not looking at Oscar-worthy performances here. The only positive thing that can really be said is that the endless fight sequences are choreographed well, and look authentic. And since most of them take place in a boxing ring or a cage, the film may find some kind of fan following from a legion of kids wearing Tap Out shirts. For the rest of the world; you can thank me for saving you 90 minutes of stupid. The film did inspire me a little bit, though; I am definitely going back to watch the first film to be reminded of how fun it was.


    Lionsgate brings Green Street Hooligans: Underground to DVD with a 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. It looks good, with nary a glimpse of artifacting to be seen. Colour range is nice, and there are a number of darker/nighttime scenes that retain clarity throughout, with good black levels.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 track makes good use of the soundtrack, with surrounds immersing the viewer in the fight scenes. Dialogue is clear and consistent, with no pops, crackles, hisses, or any of those other issues.

    Behind the Scenes (13:23) features the cast and director discussing the story and the characters of the film, interspersed with clips from the movie.

    A trailer for the film is included, as well as a promo reel for other Lionsgate films.

    The Final Word:

    Definitely not recommended. Watch the first film. If you have the need for more, watch it again, or watch Football Factory. Or Gary Oldman in The Firm. Or anything other than Green Street Hooligans: Underground

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      I can't believe that the Swede has not commented on this.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      He's getting old.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      No doubt.
    1. sukebanboy's Avatar
      sukebanboy -
      He's probably not replying as at this moment in time he is on an airplane winging its way to your house to dish out an ass-beating for ragging on a DTV action movie with Scott Adkins in!!
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Haha, that's entirely possible.