Johnny & Al's DVD Review Of G.B.H

Johnny and Al watch new DVD release G.B.H in which a man is hooligan first and cop second. It has its flaws but it seems like the boys kind of enjoyed it. Which is odd.

Last Updated: 19/10/12 at 08:49 Post Comment

Latest Articles

F365's Complete List Of Summer Transfers

25 comments

The list is growing. Still to sign a soul are QPR and Tottenham...

World Cup TV Review: The Fancy Business

23 comments

The'samba samba happy happy urchins and the jiggly smiling ladies because: futbal!' narrative has dominated British TV at this World Cup. A bit more imagination needed...

All Articles

Feature film G.B.H (not to be confused with the 1991 Michael Palin/Robert Lindsay drama series of the same name) stars Nick Nevern as Damien, a former football hooligan who is now a PC for the Met. Nevern and writer-director Simon Phillips are something of a cottage industry for films about football hoolies: they have 'The Rise And Fall Of A White Collar Hooligan' out this year, a sequel called 'White Collar Hooligan 2: England Away' in post-production, a film called 'Hooligan Wars' already in the can and 'The Hooligan Factory' in pre-production. While it is unlikely that any of these will get much of a theatrical release, there is clearly a market for this little genre of films on DVD. Dear reader, you are it, we guess.

The film is set against the backdrop of the 2011 London Riots, which for most of the film seems to be no more than a thematically handy device to illustrate the levels of anger and disenfranchisement in the streets that Damien, and his rookie partner Louise (Kellie Shirley, who played Carly Wicks in 'EastEnders') are policing. Damien suffers from anger management issues, and is constantly popping (presumably anti-psychotic) pills, throwing his weight around and roughing up suspects who have done things he regards as morally beyond the pale, for instance running a brothel or domestic abuse. The film suffers quite badly from believability issues as we see Damien beat a man senseless in the cells with no comeback whatsoever and then for some reason get detailed to drive a major criminal to prison, alone, in the middle of the night. Renegade cop Damien naturally stops at a deserted industrial estate to dish out a crunchy beating.

We're not saying that police brutality is implausible, but rather that it seems unlikely that a lowly Plod, only on the force for a few months, disliked by other officers and under scrutiny from his bosses, would be able to get away with these Vic Mackey-ish levels of loose cannon brutality. Somewhat hilariously, no less a personage than Steven Berkoff has a couple of scenes as 'Chief Constable'. Clearly if you have landed an acting name like Berkoff for your movie, you're going to be happy for him to be doing pretty much anything, but it did strike as rather unlikely that said Chief Constable would be dishing out regular one-on-one pep talks, warnings and briefings to a mere Police Constable rather than via, say, the chain of command.

Anyhoo, that's not a big deal really: the film is quite a solid story of how Damien finds himself torn between his football hooligan friends and his new life as a copper. Naturally, his old 'friends' don't want him to leave the firm. In truth, apart from some scenes where the usual bunch of Central Casting footy fan scumbags are watching the game in a pub and cheering/bullying some student type for spilling their pint etc etc, the fact that they are football thugs rather than any other sort of thug is tangential. The football team that they support remains unnamed, and football fan-dom generally just hums in the background as Damien tries to bond with a tearaway kid over the game, takes Louise to a match on a date and so on. We're not too sure what, if anything, the film is trying to say about football or football fans or the culture around the game. Over the next couple of weeks, we might revisit and review some previous entries in the conflicted policeman and/or hooligan genre - 'The Firm' and 'ID' spring to mind - and see how portrayals of football fans have changed.

Anyhow, the 2011 riots do eventually come to bear on the plot as Damien's old life, and old associates, come into contact with his uneasy new life as a policeman. You can probably guess how well that works out for him and those close to him...

It's not what you would call wonderfully original storytelling, but the story packs plenty of emotional punch. NB one scene in particular is extremely unpleasant to watch; the fact that you could tell that something like this was surely coming doesn't make it any more palatable. Overall, not an innovative film, but plenty to recommend it, well-acted and with some decent laughs in amongst the violence. Give it a whirl.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read football legend Ronnie Matthews recent Daily Telegraph column on John Terry and Joey Barton here; his ghost-writer Alan Tyers helped with some of the punctuation.

And read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Follow Alan on Twitter here

or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

am jealous but i do wonder why he's never done anything for barca and why they seemingly don't give two hoots that he's leaving. they clearly rate suarez more than him, that much is inarguable

bobsy
Sanchez Is A Game-Changer For Arsenal...

L

uis Suarez: on his way to Barcelona. Liverpool : on their way to the Conference.

wotyomamased
Liverpool agree sale of Suarez

D

aryl Janmaat, a cheaper alternative to Micah Richards? World Cup semifinalist versus Man City's backup, England's... what, fifth choice right back? That really hammers home the English premium.

harry hotspur
The Blank Gossip

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Championship: Leeds United's opponents fail to turn up for pre-season friendly in Italy

Leeds were forced to call off their pre-season friendly with Viitorul Constanta after their opponents failed to turn up.

Transfer news: Manchester City in talks with Porto over Eliaquim Mangala

Manchester City are in talks with Porto over the signing of defender Eliaquim Mangala, according to Sky sources.

Louis van Gaal to link up with Manchester United on Wednesday

Louis van Gaal has confirmed he will start working with the Manchester United squad at Carrington on Wednesday.

Mail Box

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Stop Your Sobbing And Man Up...

Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property