Anyone looking for a spot of soccer-themed ultraviolence should look elsewhere.
Although its release has presumably been timed to coincide with Euro 2012, anyone looking for a spot of soccer-themed ultraviolence should look elsewhere. Because The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan is not really a football film. And it’s not really a hooligan film, either. So what’s left?
Director Paul Tanter instead ends up focusing foremost on the 'white collar' aspect of his film's deceptive title, which shows recession victim Mike (Nick Nevern) struggling to find a job (which is unsurprising given the 'hilarious' montage of him messing up several interviews) before eventually being propositioned by old pal Eddie (Simon Phillips).
What starts off as a simple driving job, ferrying computer parts from A to B, gets Mike a foot in the door of a huge criminal operation involving Chip & PIN machines. The higher Mike rises, the further he has to fall, and when a job goes wrong in Paris, he ends up in a French prison.
Upon his release, Mike is rewarded by his boss for his loyalty in not selling them out, and rises even higher until it becomes a matter of life and death (still not as important as football, of course). The plot itself works well enough and is surprisingly restrained, although this often leaves it feeling undramatic.
Boasting some embarrassingly cheesy dialogue, White Collar Hooligan is much less cool, clever and important than it claims to be. Stuffed full of the kind of matey clichés you overhear when City boys are slapping each other’s backs and trying to out-lad each other in the pub, some lines are more likely to illicit awkward laughs than awed silence.
Nick Nevern and Simon Phillips turn in decent lead performances, remaining likeable in the face of all the clunky dialogue. Rita Ramnani, however, as Mike’s over-earnest girlfriend Katie, often strays the wrong side of wide-eyed innocence. Although it aspires to more, this is a perfectly average film about a pretty ordinary crime.
Low, since the lead actor doesn’t have an IMDB headshot.
Never offensively bad, but never exactly thrilling either.
Unmemorable and reminiscent of a Channel 4 one-off drama.