3 out of 10
Release Date: 26th December 2016 (DVD Premiere)
Director: Nicholas Winter (Hooligan Legacy)
Cast: Kris Johnson, Simon Cotton, Ali Bastian, Munro Graham, Patrick Connolly, Tim Berrington, Sapphire Elia, Aggy K Adams, Eric Colvin with Ryan Winsley and Chris Simmons
Writer: Nicholas Winter
I had high hopes for Nicholas Winter’s second film as director after Hooligan Legacy. Seems like a ridiculous statement but in context his debut was a tough little gangster movie with pace, good performances and proved to be a good calling card for the director and it’s leading man, Kris Johnson (WHO NEEDS ENEMIES). Sadly, this time around their latest one,Undercover Hooligan proves to be heavy work. Johnson, usually a confident actor, who’s already proved to be one to watch, falters with a bad script, and this time delivers a less than cocksure performance. The plot and acting from some of his supporters leave much to be desired too.
Undercover Hooligan follows the first underground assignment for ‘Violent Cop of the Terraces’ Michael Clarke, who has to go to jail for six months just to look authentic enough to get in with some people traffickers lead by Patrick Connolly and his children, played by Simon Cotton (RISE OF THE KRAYS) and Sapphire Elia (VENGEANCE). Cotton further solidifies his rep, at Britpic Crescent, as one of low-budget cinemas biggest over-performers. He doesn’t quite ruin the film, that’s a group effort. Plot holes and character dopiness sabotage a potentially entertaining film but familiarity with this kind of plot arch scuppers Undercover Hooligan in more ways than one. It’s not Kris Johnson‘s only dud, see Essex Vendetta for that – but he’s not the problem in that one.
The violence is a bit sickening and every bit gratuitous, as it was in Hooligan Legacy, but here it seems stitched on to make up for the cardboard acting and tired story. Again it would seem like the word ‘hooligan’ has been wheeled out by the SEO boys to sell a few more units but it’s connection to football or hooliganism is on the thin side, as you’d expect. I look forward to Kris Johnson‘s next appearance, but for Mr Winter the director and writer he’s currently hung at a 1/1 tie-off. Please come back with something better next time.
3 out of 10 – Leaden and drawn out crime non-thriller starring the usually confident and natural Kris Johnson. This time he’s either miscast or unsure about the script as he comes across uncomfortable this once. Simon Cotton overcooks the principle baddy and the rest of the cast set about doing wooden furniture impressions. Underpowered Hooligans.
Trailer: UNDERCOVER HOOLIGAN
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THIS ACTOR IN BEFORE?
- Kris Johnson: Hooligan Legacy, Essex Vendetta, Who Needs Enemies?
- Simon Cotton: Rise of the Footsoldier 3, Fall of the Krays, Rise of the Krays
- Ali Bastian: Strippers vs Werewolves, The Bill (TV)
- Sapphire Elia: Vengeance (2017), Emmerdale (TV)
- Aggy K Adams: Eden Lodge
- Eric Colvin: Zombie Resurrection
- Ryan Winsley: He Who Dares 2, ABCs of Death 2, Essex Boys – Retribution, Piggy, Hush Your Mouth
- Chris Simmons: The Bill (TV)