The ad campaign is keen to suggest that Paul Tanter’s movie is a gritty British drama about football hooliganism. It’s not. There are times when it touches on sporting themes, gangs and violence, but anyone expecting the next ID is in for a shock. White Collar Hooligan is a fast paced crime thriller that moves away from football, firms and clashes in order to tell the well-worn tale of loyalty, betrayal and greed – available on DVD in the UK courtesy of Momentum Pictures.
It follows the fortunes of a die-hard football fan drawn into the life of easy money, fast women and theft. Or should that be fast money and easy women? I can never tell. Mike Jacobs (Nick Nevern) is no stranger to finding himself on the wrong side of the law. However, the all-out anarchy he embraces on a Saturday afternoon is one thing, the get rich quick schemes proposed by his friend, Eddie Hill (Simon Phillips), are something else entirely. After a chance reunion, Eddie invites Mike to join him in another arena, one that peddles credit card fraud. Mike finds himself powerless to resist Eddie's lucrative offer. As the money starts to pile up, Mike finds himself sinking ever deeper, digging a hole he might never escape from.
With White Collar Hooligan, Paul Tanter has delivered an efficient British drama that fails to break new ground, but still entertains in customary fashion. There are so many crime thrillers like this, it’s hard to imagine what drew the filmmakers to it, but White Collar Hooligan entertains in small doses. Mike Jacobs is your typical, run of the mill English lout, and Nevern is certainly no Tom Hardy (he’s not even Danny Dyer come to think of it). The remainder of the cast are a who’s who of British screen ‘talent’. You’ll probably recognise most of them but might not remember where from. Either way, they fail to make a lasting impression thanks to a workmanlike script that offers nothing fresh.
Tanter doesn’t waste time on character development, depth or originality; he races out of the blocks and tells his story in less than 80 minutes. If you’re looking for a soulless quick fix this might be your ride, but if you’re hoping for something that scratches beneath the surface, you’ve come to the wrong place. There’s very little chance of you caring about any of their plights. Which means that – when events do transpire – the impact is lessened and White Collar Hooligan leaves you feeling cold. There’s a neat twist at the end of the movie, but Tanter’s latest shares more in common with a guided tour than an actual movie going experience.
Much like the football hooliganism the cover art portrays, depth, tension and drama are glossed over in this working class thriller. There’s a solid if unspectacular story to be told here, but if storyline, characterisation and depth are the tortoise, Tanter is most definitely the hare – and we all know how that story goes. AW