2 out of 10
Release Date: 28th July 2010 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Jesse V Johnson (Triple Threat / Accident Man / Savage Dog / The Package (2009))
Cast: Ross McCall, Marina Sirtis, Graham McTavish, Treva Etienne, Nicky Holender, Luke Massy, Suzanne May, Timothy Murphy, DeObei Operai, Peter O’Meara, Matthias Hues and Vernon Wells
Writer: T Jay O’Brien
Trailer: GREEN STREET 2
“There’s a lot more to it,” urged Trumpet in The Hooligan Factory. Hmmm. Very much a missing piece in the Britpic jigsaw having seen the original and the comedic Green Street 3, it was time to catch up with the sequel. Taking a very minor character that I can barely remember from the first part, Green Street 2 takes place entirely inside prison. Now the timing was out with this because I’d just sat down a few days before to revisit Starred Up, the best UK prison drama of all time, so it’s unfortunate that I didn’t know in advance of this sorry sequel’s setting. It’s probably the least authentic prison film I’ve seen since Adam Sandler’s Mean Machine remake, The Longest Yard. I was expecting product placement abomination Eddie Cheeseburger (TERRY CREWS) to turn up at any minute but he didn’t, worse luck. Anyway, here it is, our belated review of the sequel and it’s even worse than the first one and nowhere near as funny as part 3.
Now try to imagine Happy Days set in Prison, with the Scott Baio‘s Chachi as the main character – well, Ross McCall (GREEN STREET) plays Dave, a footsoldier hooligan with the same type of swagger. He’s a short arse that also reminded me of Davy Jones out of The Monkees and he’s the kind of jailbird that you’d expect to go around giving everybody high-fives and doing a twirl before he turns a corner. If you just took away the swearing, Andrew Lloyd Webber could have inspiration for his new musical – Hooligan: A Way of Life…. Big Marc (GRAHAM MCTAVISH – THE HOBBIT) shows up as the big bad who killed one of Dave’s bessie mates. Now Big Marc wants to send Dave and his two pals to heaven. Luckily he bumps into a sneaky Russian, Max (TIMOTHY MURPHY – TRUE DETECTIVE) who quotes “My enemies enemy is my friend” to him virtually right away, so you know Big Marc won’t win. Chachi, I mean Dave, and his mates also get on side of chief screw Mavis, played by Marina Sirtis (STAR TREK – THE NEXT GENERATION). It’s almost like she was disappointed out on losing out on playing the Black Witch in Tom Thumb in the Epping Theatre Christmas Panto all those years she was playing Deanna Troi in Star Trek. Someone get her to the High Street quickly.
As you can tell, there’s nothing to recommend at all in Green Street 2. Former London’s Burning star Treva Etienne (FALLING SKIES) blots his copybook with a central role as good prison officer, but there’s slim picking to be had, as the film throws in some stupid plot twists to do with overcrowding and giving freedom to anyone who wins a football game. Australian action stalwart Vernon Well (COMMANDO) best known for Commando and Mad Max 2 gives good cameo as the governor of the prison but it’s too little too late. Action addicts may also get a kick out of spotting Matthias Hues as one of the sneaky Russians. He was once a contemporary of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, who on the evidence of this, barely got a look in when they were casting. He’s less than a glorified background artist.
The ending is ridiculous and stolen from Mean Machine, without the charm of Burt Reynolds (charm? Did I just write that?) When Dave and his mates eventually get free at the end, they are seen off at the gate by Max the Russian. “Nice fella,” says Dave after he’s walked off. Cuddly Russian gangsters! Really? And that’s it really, the least authentic, soppiest and lame prison film I’ll probably ever see. And what’s more, nobody even mentions Green Street Elite which indicates this probably wasn’t intended to be a sequel. Roll on Green Street 4. Can only be a matter of time can’t it. Please don’t bring back Dave and his high-pitched, reveries about the joy of smacking somebody in the face every Saturday.
2 out of 10 – Terrible non-sequel set in prison. It makes Prisoner of Cell Block H look like Starred Up. It made me miss Burt Reynolds films. And makes me want to find that old Tom Selleck prison film to see if it out corns this… what was it called? Ah yes, An Innocent Man!
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Ross McCall: 24 (TV), Submerged (2005), Green Street, Band of Brothers (TV)
- Marina Sirtis: The Grudge 3, Crash (2004), Star Trek – Nemesis, Star Trek – Voyager (TV), Star Trek – Insurrection, Star Trek – First Contact, Star Trek – Generations, Star Trek – The Next Generation (TV), Waxwork 2, Death Wish 3
- Graham McTavish: The Finest Hours, Creed – Rocky 7, Outlander (TV), The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit- The Desolation of Smaug, Plastic, The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, The Wicker Tree, Rambo
- Treva Etienne: Falling Skies (TV), Bad Boys 2, Shooters, Black Hawk Down, Desmonds (TV), London’s Burning (TV), Prospects (TV)
- Suzanne May: Gentleman Broncos
- Timothy Murphy: True Detective (TV), Road To Paloma, The Lone Ranger, Sons of Anarchy (TV), Appaloosa, National Security 2
- DeObia Operai: Game of Thrones (TV), Dredd, Legacy – Black Ops, Doom, Underworld, Moulin Rouge, Alien 3
- Peter O’Meara: Traders, Leap Year
- Matthias Hues: Kick Boxer 2, Dark Angel, Big Top Pee Wee, No Retreat – No Surrender 2
- Vernon Wells: Jurassic City, Power Rangers (TV), Space Truckers, Fortress, Inner Space, Commando, Weird Science, Mad Max 2