Green Street – A Shit Fucking Movie
Thank you very much Eric for inviting me to join in with Shitfest! It’s a real honour.
I’d be lying if I said it had all been fun and games though. I actually struggled for ages to come up with my movie choice. I mean yeah I’ve watched some dumb films (special thanks to Michael Bay) but nothing I thought of really felt…..right.
Then happily I had, I guess what you’d call an epiphany. A movie came to mind that is so awful, so inaccurate and so poorly written that you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a parody. (I double checked and it’s definitely not supposed to be a parody)
I am talking of course about Green Street – a movie about football hooligans in London. Though to try and make an already loose plot just that bit more silly, they included a bit about an American Harvard student (yeah okay…!) who joins with one of the ‘toughest firms in the East End’ – the Green Street Elite – a gang of West Ham supporters who like to fight opposing football fans.
Now I know it seems childish to say that everything is wrong in this movie, but I’m going to say it anyway.
Everything is wrong in this movie. Football hooliganism is a real thing after all (somewhat of a ‘national sport’ in the UK) but almost every part of it is misrepresented in a film that can’t decide whether it’s ‘low key England’ or ‘Hollywood jazz hands’.
You know how some movies are so bad they’re good? Well this isn’t one of them. It’s so bad it’s really bad. Perhaps if it were slightly shorter it might have worked better but at 109 minutes it’s clearly 108 minutes too long. It’s not the genre or topic that I find unappealing, I actually like thuggish movies if they’re made well and I did specifically want to choose a film for Shifest that had potential for enjoyment.
But Green Street just feels like a joke from start to finish. The fact it has a 7.5 rating on IMDB only serves to prove what bollocks their rating system is.
The ‘Green Street Elite’ themselves are a bunch of less-than-menacing youths. They are led by Pete (Charlie Hunnam) who walks around like a low rent Fagin, swinging his arms from side to side heavily JUST IN CASE WE FORGET he’s supposed to be a cockney (Hunnam is from Newcastle in real life – about as far north from London as you can get without seeing the Aurora Borealis). It’s strange how this young whippet of a boy is running the whole of the West Ham hooligan firm but that’s the incredible writing of Green Street for you.
I may as well talk about his accent now too. One of the most incredible glaring errors in the film was to let Charlie Hunnam speak the way he did and actually release the film afterwards. Well I say ‘accent’ – I’ve actually counted six of them. Six garbled accents crammed into one person. Amazing!
And whilst I commend his effort at covering such a broad base of enunciations which so far includes British, Australian, Northern Irish, American, South African and what I like to call “the Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins special” – it really wasn’t necessary. Though it gives the film one extra point for sheer comedy value I guess.
And I’m honestly not just being an anal bitch about this. His accent is the worst I’ve heard in MOVIE HISTORY. And I’m including Josh Hartnett when he made Blow Dry.
*Note to the German/American director who made this British film – don’t cast a Geordie as a cockney. And NEVER cast a Geordie who can’t do accents as a cockney. In fact just don’t make films about football hooligans (or cockneys). You’re German – you can actually PLAY football. Leave the thug behaviour to us.
The fight scenes unfortunately are no better and pretty laughable – embarrassing to watch even. Though the Green Street Elite only seem to have six members (ridiculous!) they have street brawls against hundreds of men – and still win.
Injury doesn’t seem to be a problem however. The screenshot below of the lads laughing, skipping and high fiving as they dance down some steps followed one of the biggest fights in the whole movie, where the six youths fought against seventy men.
My problem with this is – where’s the broken ribs? None of them are doubled over in pain. No-one’s limping. No-one’s wincing. No-one’s nursing anyone.
You can’t dance your way down some steps after fighting off seventy men. You just can’t.
It’s a film riddled with clichés (there’s a character called “The Major”) inconsistencies and mistakes. I mean the Hobbit is only in London for five minutes and he gets given a ticket to a football match!! Anyone who’s even tried to get a ticket to a premiership London match will know it’s near impossible.
It’s a real shame because I genuinely like British thug movies and this is one I thought I would enjoy. But shoddy writing, mortifying accents, boring sports scenes and implausible situations (why on earth did they set fire to that pub????) just make this a movie to avoid.
And don’t get me started on the Hobbit from Harvard. Elijah Wood in a hooligan film?
Look…..he can’t even fight off a CREDIT CARD.