2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Much better than I expected,
This review is from: The Firm [DVD]  (DVD)
Like most people I had read the reviews of this film and heard it getting panned everywhere so wasnt too keen to watch it to be honest but having done so I have to say I was quite impressed.
The major mistake the director made with this film is he took the name the Firm from the 80s TV movie which to most people growing up at the time was something of a classic (If a bit far fetched) If the director had have just used another name then this film probably would have passed the bar of modern hooligan film snobbery and at least been rated along side Awaydays (A film that is quite frankly one of the worst to come out in recent years, ask anyone from Merseyside!)
Far from the film being directly about hooliganism its more about the alienation of a young lad growing up on a London council estate who gets drawn into the life of hooligan violence after bumping (Literally) Into the leader of West Hams Under 5's, the more junior branch of the ICF. He follows "Bex" the leader of the under 5's around until he is finally allowed to travel with them first to Portsmouth where he gets his first real taste of football violence. Here again I think the director has probably done a much better job than almost all of the hooligan films out there. You dont have machete wielding hooligans fighting (Rise of the Footsoldier), you dont have some invincible army fighting (Green Street, Football Factory) Nor do you have half starved rejects from a Cure video slashing people with Stanley knives (Awaydays) you just have gangs of lads mostly pushing and shoving, throwing a few bottles and getting chased off by the police. When you do have a scene where knives are used the reaction is horror and panic not "Lets run in and get murdered" Making it again ironically much more realistic.
This film is much more about friendship and growing up in the 80s than the original Firm. You also get more into the leader of the hooligan firms personality and also some of the firms members. You get to see the fear as things start to spiral out of control amongst them and how people can get sucked into something they soon have no control over and no way out of. Not too sure about the choice of clothing in this film though. I grew up during those times and cant remember seeing a group of lads dressed that bad, not all in one go anyway. one of the ariel fight scenes looks like a group of fruit pastels fighting.
All in all I thought it was a good film and one I would recommend.