Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Neil Maskell, Roland Manookain, Tamer Hassan and Dudley Sutton

Nick Love

Running Time:
90 mins

Out to buy on DVD 27/09/04

"Let's have it"


Tommy's (Dyer) mundane weekday life was all but forgotten as soon as Saturday came around. This was his chance to meet up with his mates, have some drinks, maybe do some drugs and then go down the football. A hardened, life long Chelsea supporter, Tommy's goal wasn't to go down Stanford Bridge and watch the beautiful game, no. It was find the rival fans, get his mates together and then kick their heads in. To him, this is what Saturday was all about.

As the media and most of the footballing community continue to see English football supporters as hooligans, a film like this does absolutely nothing to sway their opinions, only fuel them.

The Football Factory is the worst possible kind of movie. It plays up to the thug mentality of a small percentage of the football watching fraternity, to the point that it glorifies their ideals and way of life. Not an ounce of remorse or regret is shown by any of the instantly repugnant characters that pollute the screen making this seem little more than a rally cry for the mindless so-called fans of the most watched sport in the world.

The film underlying message of bored males struggling to find an outlet in life that will make them feel like men, is neither sympathetic or understandable. These are people who are not short of money, who live in London and support Chelsea, so you are supposed to emphasise with their lack of direction and clarity in life. These are the worst kind of people. They are stupidly territorial, inherently racist and have little in their lives that anyone would be envious of but the filmmakers expect you to connect with these people?

The cast do their best with their limited, stereotypical roles. Danny Dyer isn't a bad actor and anyone who as seen Human Traffic will agree. He does his best with Tommy as the plot tries to make the character appealing as he the wrestles with his subconscious, knowing his inevitable beating is coming. But just as you think that a revelation is coming and the character is going to see the error of his way, the plot takes a turn for the worst as glorification raises its ugly head again. Frank Harper sticks to form as West London hard man Billy Bright. This is a role that Harper can play in his sleep, making him truly despicable and a man you would never want to meet. Neil Maskell and Roland Manookain also try their best as Ron and Zeberdee.

Director Nick Love tries so desperately to make this movie the hooligan's version of Trainspotting. But were Danny Boyle's classic showed the darker side of the drug world, this movie does nothing to illustrate consequences of such violence. The fights, while brutal, lack believability as victims take their kickings only to return with a few bruises and the odd bandage. In one scene a rival is hit across the head with a cricket bat, only to be seen out the following night with a large bandage on his head. This only serves to make the violence less of a deterrent and more of an acceptable part of life that has little consequences.

The Football Factory is a truly deplorable film that only serves to glorify the thug mentality of the limited minority of so called football fans. It does nothing to rationalise the behaviour of these unappealing and unsavoury characters, only serving as a reminder of the worst kind of supporter that the game is so desperate to leave behind.


Presented in Widescreen 1.85:1 Anamorphic with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is good. The picture quality is sharp through, even during the more energetic fight scenes. The sound emphasises the colour language of the piece but comes into its own during the mass brawls.


Commentary with Nick Love and Danny Dyer
Using the same foul and abusive language as the movie, the director and his star talk about bringing one of the worst aspects of the British football supporters to life on the big screen but it is a fact that they feel very proud of. The pair discusses the characters and setting, emphasising the use of in-words and the fact that they didn't care if people understood the banter or not. Dyer reveals how much he loved filming the movie, especially the fight scenes. This is a commentary that caters for the kind of person that enjoyed the movie, in that case it works quite well but for everyone else it comes across like the pair are advocating the way of life.

The Making of Football Factory (33.18 mins)
Writer/director Nick Love, producers James Richardson and Allan Niblo, stunt co-ordinator Glen Marks, editor Stuart Gazzard and stars Danny Dyer, Frank Harper, Roland Manookain, Tamer Hassan, Sophie Linfield, Daniel Naylor, Neil Maskell, Calum McNab and Dudley Sutton take you behind the scenes of The Football Factory. The featurette shows you how they planned and executed the fights, creating and casting the characters and creating realism, including the excessive use of foul language and violence.

The Streets "Fit but you know it" Featuring Danny Dyer, Frank Harper and Roland Manookain (3.43 mins)
Your chance to watch the full music video for The Streets single, which includes a brief cameo by the three stars of The Football Factory.

Alternate Opening Scene (1.11 mins)
The original opening sequence that really didn't follow the tone of the rest of the movie.

Deleted Scenes (5.40 mins)
Eight deleted scenes that include more of shots of the lads in their younger days, more Bill and Albert and director Nick Love's cameo. The lack of a commentary or introduction means that you don't know why theses scene where removed however.

"Love Story" Nick Love's Short Film (15.57 mins)
Starring Jamie Foreman, Patsy Palmer, Paul Nicholls, David Thewlis and Ewen Bremner, this short film tells the tale of Dave and Sharon, two drug addicts who are about to have a baby.

Paul Burns Original Production Concepts
Watch a montage of Paul Burns' concept art for The Football Factory

"Fight Scene" by Chris Coco and Sasha Puttnam
A montage of photographs taken by the photographers during the fight scenes in the movie.

The full trailer and TV spot for The Football Factory and previews of "It's all gone Pete Tong" and "Goodbye Charlie Bright"


A truly appalling film gets a better DVD treatment than it deserves. For the selective, mindless few who actually liked the movie there is a lot here to enjoy. The Featurette is good and the commentary reflects the mentality of the movie and the people who made, which will appeal to fans. The inclusion of Nick Love's short film is a bonus and proves that his might be a filmmaker that could actually hold some promise, if he chooses the right material.



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