6.5 out of 10
Release Date: 19th May 2014 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Greg Hall (Bonded By Blood 2)
Cast: Paul Marlon, Simon Phillips, Samuel Anoyke, Roger Griffiths, Lauren Rollins, Mark Savage, Peter Woodward, Rita Ramnani and Mark Sangster
Writer: Greg Hall
Trailer: DANGEROUS MIND OF A HOOLIGAN
For a Paul Tanter / Simon Phillips production Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan is shockingly good because all their other films (except one or two) are very shit. But yet again this has barely anything to do with football hooligans (or even any type of hooligan). I think Tanter et al, rely on the fact that one word (HOOLIGAN) will bring them loads of money. Put together all their movies and you have about 3 minutes of football hooliganism and that’s the truth. Thank god films with the word ‘tampon’ aren’t popular as Simon and Paul would be making Day In The Life of a Tampon, I’m a Tampon Get Me Out Here, Rise and Fall of a Cheap Tampon etc. What we have here is a competent and entertaining homage/rip off of Reservoir Dogs, Revolver and Wild At Heart (I think.)
A gang of bank robbers, previously unknown to each other, rob a bank. We see the robbery, the lead up and the aftermath in a jumbled chronological order favoured by filmmakers in the early 2000s. We see lots of tributes to Quentin Tarantino: a character gets killed by not taking his gun to the toilet; the warehouse where the gang first meet is very reminiscent of the one in Reservoir Dogs; there’s a vengeful, satantic otherworldly cop in panto-dress on their trail, who’s definitely trying to be a Scots Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper‘s character from David Lynch’s Blue Velvet)(MARK SANGSTER). So it wears it’s influences on it’s sleeve in ten foot neon-letters, yet it works. As all things heist-like, the plan goes tits up when the leader of the gang gets fatally shot and the gang go on the run without a plan and place to divide the money. Why they stick together for so long isn’t clear. Oh yeah, they take a useless hostage too (LAUREN ROLLINS). The gang consists of ex-boxer Danny (PAUL MARLON – ESSEX BOYS RETRIBUTION), Caesar (SAMUEL ANOYKE), Anthony (SIMON PHILLIPS – HE WHO DARES), Michael (MARK SAVAGE) and Rowntree (ROGER GRIFFITHS – AMA).
For once Simon Phillips seems well-cast as the wimp of the bunch and he always seems at ease when working in an ensemble as opposed to a leading role like his grandstanding embarrassment in He Who Dares. The other members of the gang are equally good giving a little bit of depth and shade here and there to potentially stock characters. I liked Paul Marlon (who is relatively new to me having only seen him as an assassin in the woeful Essex Boys Retribution) who takes a shine to his hostage and who demonstrates on a few occasions that there is still honour amongst thieves. Elsewhere gravitas is brought to the ensemble by Roger Griffiths (who is one of those faces you’ve seen for years but couldn’t put a name to) and newcomer Samuel Anoyke is the itch and scratch. His character Caesar provides all the friction and electricity needed. Essentially this is a straightforward d-movie elevated by nice acting, a pretty sharp script, nice plotting and a good degree of complex editing. The plot has some interesting plot developments (some work, some don’t), but mostly this is a low-budget triumph.
It has to be said though that a lot of the films bad points can be dropped on Mark Sangster‘s doorstep. His portrayal of a demonic cop is beyond pantomiming. His wardrobe is out of kilter with the world around him and he seems to be addicted to breath fresheners? The film also tries to turn itself into a David Lynch film whenever he’s onscreen too but a combination of Mark Sangster‘s bad acting, the weird choice of lighting and just about everything else in these scenes is out of whack with the rest of the film. It’s like they’ve been edited in from a way poorer film. A stand off in a hotel corridor between him and Paul Marlon almost pasts muster but this single-handedly reminded me that I was watching a Paul Tanter/Simon Phillips production. I don’t know who this actor is but he was bad. Other bad aspects were a cringe-worthy game of cards between the hostage and Paul Marlon. Well performed but very unlikely.
Despite all the negatives, it’s the second best Paul Tanter/Simon Phillips film after White Collar Hooligan and that’s because of the good acting and that they pulled off the jumbled narrative story telling device. The script is above average for this type of thing too. Dangerous Mind of a Hooligan comes with reservations but if you like this kind of straightforward bank heist movie, there’s lots for the uncynical viewer to enjoy – although it’s a lot to ask your regular viewer to tolerate the continuous Tarantino steals.
6.5 out of 10 – A competent quickie that steals from the best but has a few ideas of it’s own. Great performances from a largely unknown cast, this is Paul Tanter and Simon Phillips best production in donkeys. Just don’t expect to see any hooligans. Here’s to Rise and Fall of the Tampax Twins.
2nd review below – ‘In The Dangerous Mind of an Ewok with a writing disorder’ aka Matt Usher
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Paul Marlon: Essex Boys Retribution
- Simon Phillips: The Last Scout, Dystopia (TV), No Easy Days (TV), He Who Dares 2, Meet The Firm – White Collar Hooligan 3, Shame The Devil, The Hooligan Wars, He Who Dares, Essex Boys Retribution, White Collar Hooligan 2, Fall of the Essex Boys, UFO (2013), The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Airborne, The Reverend (2012), Ghosted, How to Stop Being a Loser, Kill Keith, Jack Says, Jack Said, Jack Falls, The Last Seven, Just For The Record, Stagger, Risen, Cut
- Samuel Anoyke: No Reasons
- Roger Griffiths: Hard Time Bus, Holby City (TV), Eastenders (TV), Family Affairs (TV), The Bill (TV), Comin’ Atcha (TV), GMT: Greenwich Mean Time, Chef! (TV), Hard Men, Ama
- Peter Woodward: The Last Scout, Awaiting, Shame The Devil, Postman Pat Movie (voice), Fall of the Essex Boys
- Rita Ramnani: The Last Scout, A Dark Reflection, The Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Abducted, He Who Dares, White Collar Hooligan 2, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Airborne (2012), Rise and Fall Of a White Collar Hooligan, Jack Falls, Jack Said, Jack Says, How To Stop Being a Loser, The Last Seven, Just For The Record, Stagger, Umbrage- The First Vampire