Rise of the Footsoldier (2007)

Biography, Crime, Drama
Ricci Harnett, Terry Stone, Craig Fairbrass, Roland Manookian
Rise of the Footsoldier follows the inexorable rise of Carlton Leach from one of the most feared generals of the football terraces to becoming a member of a notorious gang of criminals who ...
  • 01 Dec 2008 Released:
  • 02 Dec 2008 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

Trailer:

heavy but good8/10
Woo, this is one violent film (and i like that sort of thing) but be warned. Ill admit i automatically (flinched) looked away at one scene and i have seen some pretty horrific videos and not been moved.Pizza anyone!

Aside from this the film portrays the thugs fairly accurately. It may seem over the top too some but this is just what life was like in the peak days of football violence in Britain. As someone who has lived in a football obsessed city surrounded by football casuals and witnessed running street battles i thought the fight scenes were very well done. if your unlucky enough to see this type of thing in real life then you will realise just how scary they can be.

Shocked me as much as The Firm (Gary Oldman one) did although with The Firm i felt slightly for the characters (peer pressure, vulnerabilities etc) but with this film i had no sympathy whats so ever for the players in this story. Basically their a bunch of nutters that got what they deserve :)

Remember this is based on an true account of the time and is severely brutal with savage characters and moments. This was and still is life for some people. Avoid if you cannot handle the brutality of real life.
"When coke deals go bad..."8/10
Let's face it; Reservoir Dogs wasn't so much a movie about a diamond heist gone wrong as it was about a gang of actors that wanted to be Lee Marvin. Rise of the Footsoldier (Released 7th of September) is nothing more or less than a bunch of Scorsese fanatics who wished they'd been in Goodfellas – and be fair, who wouldn't?

'Footsoldier' is a gangster film – pure and simple. "Professional" Football hooligans the I.C.F (Inner City Firm) have met their nemesis with a combination of high profile arrests. With the emergence of the 'rave' scene of the late 80's they recognise the lucre generating possibilities of the new counter culture; get 'loved up', 'steam' the groovy train and swap their Stanley knives and knuckle dusters for smiley T. Shirts, Kickers and eh… shotguns. Quickly establishing themselves as major 'faces' in the Essex underworld, it isn't long before these Knights of the glass table are running their cocaine Camelot through a gamut of girls, guns and high friends in dangerous places.

Based on a real life 1995 'hit' which rendered three of those face's blown off at a secluded dirt track in Retterdon, the cinematic possibilities of what is now known as 'The Range Rover Killings' has not been lost on movie land. The semi fictional Essex Boys (2000) took its cue from this pivotal event in gangland history but 'Footsoldier' is a more authentic account, retaining the facts and the actual characters as recounted in 'Muscle', the book written by one of the surviving members of the gang Carlton Leach, played here by a shark eyed Ricci Harnett.

'Footsoldier' also boasts an impressive array of T.V tough guys including Ex-Eastender's Bill Murray and Craig Fairbrass, whose soap appearances had hitherto had me scrambling for the off switch. Both are excellent here, with Murray exuding menace from every pore and Fairbrass chillingly convincing as the 'roid' crazed Pat Tate. Mover and shaker Terry Stone has a face that suggests all the members of the Clash at once and follows his impressive turn in Gilby's last movie, the very excellent 'Rollin' With The Nines' as Tony Tucker; a one man swear-a-thon sporting a syrup that looked liked it could have been a stunt double for Dougal in the Magic Roundabout.

Brandishing its Scorsese-isms loudly and proudly (sweeping crane shots, freeze frame voice overs etc) 'Footsoldier' is no 'feel good' film by any stretch. But there is much to enjoy from watching these guys 'go ta woik' in a similar, but darker fashion to ensemble piece 'Love, Honour & Obey' (Was I the only one that liked that film?!) or the aforementioned Reservoir Dogs. Perhaps not quite dislodging any of the unholy trinity of Get Carter, Brighton Rock and The Long Good Friday from their lofty throne, Rise of the Foot Soldier doesn't let up for a second and holds its own as a 'balls out', 'in yer face' thrill ride, and certainly a worthy addition to the 'Grit Brit' gangster pantheon.

Adrian Stranik
Decent - don't believe the reviews7/10
I've just seen this at the cinema, and I can't believe it's had such bad reviews. I can only think critics are offended by the subject matter, as this is a pacey, well-acted, stylishly shot exploitation movie. Yes, the central characters are unpleasant, but when did that have anything to do with the quality of the film itself? That's like saying Guernica is a bad painting as it portrays a bombing, and bombings are NOT NICE...

Seriously though, if you like hard-boiled, brutal, gripping "TOUGH GUY" cinema, you will enjoy this. The 80s/90s period detail is captured very well, with haircuts, fashions and soundtrack, and the violence doesn't let up. I was half expecting some sub-Guy Ritchie cringe-worthy thing, but it's not like that at all. The plot focus does shift from Leach to his cohorts in the film's latter half, which some viewers seem to have a problem with, but not I. ROTF barrels along and seems shorter than its near-two hour running time. Plenty of brutality, nudity, swearing and drug abuse. Sweet!
Brutal but gripping British gangster movie9/10
I'm always wary of saying that a film is excellent after only seeing it once, but me and my wife and friends have been talking about this film since we watched it.

Although extremely brutal in places this movie is one of the best British gangster titles i have seen in years now.

The story is gripping and the football firm fighting scenes although perhaps a little over the top with the blood make sorry titles like green street and football factories seem like a walk in the park.

I was extremely impressed with Terry Stone (known to those who have been in the rave scene as terry turbo) and as a fan of this genre was delighted to see some great bad boy actors from eastenders (jonny allen and dan for those who know).

A great take on a subject that has certainly been done before, but it was also nice to see the early rave scene being covered as well, something i'm sure as time goes by we will see a lot more of.

All in all if you are a fan of the genre i have little doubt you will enjoy this movie.

I have a feeling once it is released on DVD this will become a cult movie. And rightly so.
TRUE GREAT British MOVIE9/10
Went to see this Monday, and I thought what a great British true crime story. The director made this film as true to live as possible, and he did a great job of doing this, it's a fantastic true story that most Essex and London people know about. The film in my view shows you how the Essex boys lived there lives in Basildon, and how Carlton leach was part of there life's as well. It's true underworld film, will plenty of action. When I see this I hadn't been to sleep for hours and went straight from work to see it praying I won't fall a sleep, it kept me awake the whole time, its action all the way.

The actors all played the parts well, ricci harnett who plays Carlton played a great role, as too do terry stone (Tony tucker) and Craig fairbrass as (pat Tate) Roland manookian (Craig rolfe) all played these guys like the real Essex boys were.

If you're a true crime fan, and love a British film, then go see this film, don't listen to what the press say, make your own mind up, and remember this is all true.

Its no big Hollywood film, it's a British movie, and we don't see many of them.

I will be going to see this movie again.

Well done again to director and writer Julian and will gilbey