Now, after all the previous adulation and ambivalence, I’ll change things up a bit and move onto a film that I think is shittier than a disposal bin in a nursing home. It’s a movie that I used to be fond of, but over the years I’ve come to see it for the superficial, moronic pile of wank that it truly is, and the tragedy that a great deal of people take hokum like this seriously.
Ricci Harnett plays the principal role in this allegedly true-to-life account of the rise and fall of Carlton Leach, an idiotic football hooligan who later becomes an idiotic bouncer, then progressing into idiotic weightlifting followed by idiotic organised crime. A great deal of it consists of Harnett doing his best ‘I’m Ard’ face:
Supplemented by a horribly thick narrative voiceover, Leach tells us all about the fackin’ buzz’ he gets whilst kicking the shit out of people on the terraces, then about the fackin’ buzz’ he gets whilst kicking the shit out of people on the nightclub door, then finally about the fackin’ buzz’ he gets from dealing drugs, destroying property, dealing with stereotypical foreign mobsters, being there for his fackin’ mates, etc. All of this is interspersed with his two marriages disintegrating on account of his being a philandering, steroid-addicted prick. Soon, Leach has the privilege of meeting three gentleman who make him look almost like a semi-decent, intellectual and interesting personality:
It is just about the time that he meets these complete and utter pillocks that the movie begins to fancy itself as the British equivalent to Goodfellas. Allow me to clarify something, if anyone reading this has developed an idea of me as some smug, cocky internet writer who undermines the seriousness of getting on the wrong side of dangerous criminals, you’ve overlooked the fatal flaw in this movie: These guys are wankers. Don’t get me wrong, the characters of Goodfellas, Casino, The Godfather, (and for the sake of fairness to American brethren also Get Carter and The Long Good Friday) are all horrible people, but they’re the real, serious deal. They are dyed-in-the-wool sociopaths who have experienced the worst facets of street culture, gang culture, drug culture and prison culture. Leach and The Three Stooges are merely a group of jumped-up bullies who never target stronger or more fearsome adversaries, always opting for easy targets to rob and intimidate. When bigger fish start getting angry with them, they get flustered and act like scared little bitches. This is the reason why its so frustrating to endure 2 hours of obnoxious, Neanderthal narration about how great it is to make people think you’re hard. The reason that the other movies were so compelling is that their characters were multi-faceted and multi-dimensional, and their interaction with one another spanned a wide range of happenings, a lot of them, for want of a better word, trivial. First dates, best clothing on a night out, favourite food, where should we all go for drinks? etc.
It’s this coupled with the fact that they were not afraid of taking on anybody that makes them so fucking scary. But not like the clowns in this. These guys are really boring, really stupid, so oblivious to how ridiculous they make themselves look, and when they all get killed in the end, nobody cares. Watch if you’re really depressed because the shitty hand these knobheads get dealt might cheer you up a little bit. 0/10.