The Football Factory Nick Love

Is there anything scarier than a drunken, raging football hooligan threatening to glass you because he thinks you're not a Chelsea fan? Nick Love would like you to think there isn't and his film is enough to not only convince you but also make you avoid the sport altogether. Based on John King's novel of the same name, The Football Factory is one part Trainspotting and the other part Snatch, without any intelligence whatsoever. The story follows Tommy, a mindless 20-something who lives for nothing more than footie, sex, lager, drugs and kicking the arses of rival teams' fans. Sure, it sets up a plot that reeks of some kind of awakening where smartening up or dying is the only solution, and by the end, after a life-threatening beating by a rival mob, torturous nightmares and witnessing his friend's head get blown off, he considers whether it was all worth the price of loving his lifestyle as a football hooligan. But, like the rest of the film's irrationalities, the limping, scarred protagonist answers: "Of course it fucking was," and keeps on trucking. Love even includes a predictable summary of everyone's life, to which he adds: "Tommy Johnson now follows rugby… bollocks," just to ensure that we get the point that his character's not some ponce. The overwhelming machismo and testosterone that flows through this film is nauseating and extreme, but also very genuine, which is why this is such a scary film. There is no remorse and it's an exploitation film without any brains, which makes it as tolerable as actually spending time with some of these obnoxious rageaholics. "The Making Of…" pushes this cheap glorification even further, reaching its lowest level when it fills the running time with a montage of actors yelling "cunt" for no reason at all, including an inappropriate group of youngsters. Love seems oblivious to the film's irresponsible message, believing the lewd conduct, language and brutally nonsensical violence are justified because of the characters' passion for their beloved sport. Call me a prude, but when it comes to being bludgeoned or even dying for the sake of defending your team's name, the ramifications are well deserved, much like my recommendation not to waste your time with this rubbish. (Image/Paradox)