By: Andrew Ward (Three Beers) -
Ah, football. The sport of the people. So many great teams. Will the Giants repeat this season? Will Aaron Rodgers continue to do the Discount Double Check all over the NFL- what? Green Street is about the other kind of football? Well then, I chose the wrong film to review…Just kidding! Football (Or soccer. Or futbol. Or whatever your region or country calls it) is an amazing sport that needs to get more coverage here in the US. The major networks are slowly warming to the sport, but it’s films like Green Street that get fans into it. Being a sports fan isn’t a requirement for watchingGreen Street. If characters with depth, development, witty dialogue and some violence is your thing than Green Street is your type of film.
The films centers around Elijah Wood’s character Matt, who is kicked out of Harvard on a bum drug accusation. This sends him over to Englandto live with his sister played by Brandi Svenning from Mallrats and her husband, Steve. Along the way, Matt gets involved with Steve’s brother, a pre- Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam. The two of them form a bond and Matt begins running with one of the most dangerous firms (or soccer gangs for most of us Yanks) in England, West Ham United’s Green Street Elite. From there, Green Street gets all sorts of wild.
Does she still wear socks when she makes whoopie, Steve?
A toast needs to be given to the action. The action during the matches and the fight scenes mixed into the film are very well done. The film is packed with action and violence, but it never gets gratuitous. They come off as necessary and well paced. With a lot of indie films that have violence it becomes a matter of dousing the film in it rather than peppering it in and complimenting the film. Now, the film isn’t perfect but it’s very good. On action and pacing alone, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The run time is the average length of a film, but Green Street felt like it flew in a way that left me wanting to see more (even though the film ends quite nicely).
Is Green Street a suitable replacement for Citizen Kane? Of course not! But it is a quality, fun film that keeps the viewer entertained. Like I said before, the pacing makes the film move fast and it very rarely lingers. This is one of those films that you and your buddies can sit down and watch on a random day without any real planning (Looking at you, Benjamin Button). It’s great for fans of violence, sports or the weirdness of Elijah Wood (Anyone? Just me? Ok then…). It’s a a film that you won’t be looking back on as one that was snubbed for the Best Picture Oscar, but you will have a fun time watching this.
This is not the Elijah Wood the GSE took in.
Ok. Two gripes rolled into one beer. The first one has to be the even though Charlie Hunnam is a talented actor, his cockney accent was god awful. His speech during the last big brawl was comical in a totally unintentional way. It’s forgiven though because of his solid performance in all other aspects. Second, how many people ended up becoming a fan of West Ham just because of this film? I’m all for new fans coming to the sport, but my God there has to be a line drawn. There are so many “fans” that don’t know a single player who takes the pitch for the Hammers. Go on, ask these West Ham “fans” to sing one of West Ham’s favorite songs beyond the first opening line about the pretty bubbles. Although I’m griping, the film did a great job bringing in new fans of the sport. And I’m aChelseasupporter anyway. Go Blues!
Green Street isn’t a cutting edge film, but it’s very enjoyable. The cast is solid and the firms are pretty accurate to real life. If you don’t like the sport before seeing the film, you may afterwards (A ringing endorsement, right?). Elijah Wood is great at playing Elijah Wood, and the rest of the cast follows suit. Have a few drinks (more than three is ok) and enjoy this film.
Take a Drink: every time Charlie Hunnam’s accent makes you unintentionally laugh.
Take a Drink: for every fist thrown.
Do a Shot: every time a fight song is sang.