Rise of the Footsoldier Movie & Book Review

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Rise of the Footsoldier Movie & Book Review Empty Rise of the Footsoldier Movie & Book Review

Post by BubbleBliss on Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:36 am

Rise of the Footsoldier review by BBC - Movies:

Blame Guy Ritchie. The late 90s success of Ritchie's cliché-ridden Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels triggered a series of pitiful gangster movies from which the genre never really recovered. Sadly Rise of The Footsoldier - the true story of Essex hardnut Carlton Leach - isn't likely to reverse that trend. Despite a decent lead performance from Hartnett, the film falls victim to all-too familiar East End stereotypes. They're either busy blowing someone's brains out or shagging a scantily-clad blonde.

From fearsome football hooligan in the eighties to a key figure in the criminal underworld during the nineties, Footsoldier charts Leach's rise through the ranks of thuggery. Leaving the terraces for nightclubs, Leach becomes a bouncer where he's given carte blanche to kick the crap out of anyone. Here he gets in with notorious gangland leaders Pat Tate (Fairbrass) and Tony Tucker (Stone), and begins to realise gang-warfare ain't what it's cracked up to be.


Director Gilbey's use of the classic rise-and-fall gangster narrative isn't what will condemn Footsoldier to big screen obscurity. Nor is it the fact that half way through, the film annoyingly sidelines Leach in favour of the events culminating in the infamous shooting of Tate and Tucker. It's Gilbey's sickening appetite for scatter-shot violence that ruins the film; whether it's a brick in the face or axe in the head during a vicious attack on a train, it's all unnecessarily prolonged. Footsoldier doesn't so much pack a punch as leave you feeling violated and more importantly, robs you of two hours of your life you won't get back.

Rise of The Footsoldier is out in the UK on 7th September 2007.


From Film4.com:

Midway through this resistible British crime saga, our 'hero' Carlton Leach (Harnett), a football hooligan-turned-bouncer-turned-gang-lieutenant takes steroids to bulk himself up. The results are swollen, aggressive and ugly, which is an apt metaphor for Rise Of The Footsoldier itself.

The previous film from director Julian Gilbey and his brother Will (credited as co-writer and editor) was Rollin' With The Nines, a souped-up gangsta thriller, distinguished by some impressively handled set-pieces, namely a road and forest pursuit which belied the production's limited means. Gilbey even nabbed a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer, impressive for a genre that rarely earns critical plaudits. All the more disappointing, then, that Footsoldier, its £2.5 million budget more than double its predecessor, is a hop, step and a giant jump in the wrong direction.

As with Nick Love's The Business, another Brit flick with Scorsese-like aspirations, Rise Of The Footsoldier attempts a wild ride through UK gangland history. From his misspent youth bashing seven bells out of rival football 'fans' on the 1970s terraces, it's clear Carlton Leach (Harnett) has a brain alongside the fists he uses so frequently. Guarding Essex club doors in the 1980s, it's a natural progression to distributing the drugs that the clubbers hoover up. And once embroiled in that game, it's only a matter of time before rival gangs and in-house treachery rear up, leading to the infamous 1998 'Rettendon Range Rover murders' shotgun slaying.


My personal opinion:

I loved the movie. It starts out with a little bit of Hooliganism a la "Green Street Hooligans" then quickly morphs into a crime drama about a bouncer/steroid addict that's struggling with his home life and is getting sucked deeper and deeper into the underworld. Then it turns into a big scale modern gangster movie that ties the main character into a deep world of drugs, violence, etc. Towards the end of the movie, the main character distances himself from all that stuff a bit and witnesses how that lifestyle destroys his friends, family, etc. I don't agree with the claim that this movie glorifies violence and the "gangster lifestyle". If you want some of your best friends to die, to live in fear of getting murdered every day, to ruin your family life and to be subjected to extreme physical and mental pain then yes, the movie will draw you towards that kind of lifestyle. If you're into a regular, everyday life free of all of the above then you will not be drawn towards that lifestyle by this movie.


Book review:

The book is by Carlton Leach and is based on his life. While it jumps around between different times of his life, it's a nicely flowing read though it seems like he enjoys telling his violent and sex stories a bit too much. He constantly reiterates how he regrets his lifestyle and how much it has cost him, but when he tells about the things he has done, he tells it in a way that makes you think that he feels no regret towards it. It wasn't my favorite book just because of the mere pointless stories of violence and sex. However, it does give you insight into somebody who has seen a lot and has endured a lot as well. It also shows you how the underground world runs and what kind of organizations there are in it. All in all, it's an interesting read just because it uncovers something that's constantly around us but we never really see as ordinary folks.

Rise of the Footsoldier Movie & Book Review Junmem10

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