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Rise Of The Footsoldier 

reviewed by Jonathan Toss

If you like The Buisness/Football Factory type fodder, you pump alot of  iron and guzzle protein shakes and you've got a small cock then this film will  be right up your Calle. With shots of steroid injecting, bench pressing, wanton violence, gunslinging and general bad boy behaviour running right through from beginning to end that will have you spunking all over your yellow Gold's gym vest. Most of the cast were herded in from the two above mentioned films, so it doesn't disappoint on the cockney spiel stakes" red army,  don't make me laugh,  scruffy manc cants" or " When them Turkish walk out that door I'm gonna go all schwarzenegger on the cants"

Look away now if you haven't seen it yet because I'm going to give the ending away. The film is based on a true story told by Carlton Leach in his book of the same name. The film flows along with the actor playing Leach talking you through the different stages of his life. From running with a violent football firm, to being a bouncer, to getting involved with the criminal underworld. It all ends horribly when three of his 'so called' gang get blown to smithereens. I don't feel guilty about giving the ending away because the murders were all over the papers and the TV when they happened. It was after Leah Betts had died from taking ecstasy in an Essex club and the murdered gang were meant to be big time ecstasy dealers in the Essex area and the Daily Mail readers and the police, held them indirectly responsible for the poor girls death.

Before getting to the  nitty gritty of Carlton's tale, I have to sit through the first 10 -15 minutes of these god awful phoney mob fights that seem to have infested these Brit-Flicks of late (fingers crossed for Sammo's offering). Cue ICF having it under the inevitable railway bridge with a red army mob or when Leach is having it practically on his own, on the tube with the F-Troop,  which results in Carlton having an axe to the head - which did make me go cold. The football scenes were interwoven with clips from the infamous Thames television documentary about the ICF and I for one could not tell the difference.The wardrobe department done a sterling job dressing the actors up like the real ICF - they had them down to a tee; Bukta tracky tops, bad haircuts, muzzies and earrings (Check out Gardners rug).

Carlton ditches the football and gathers his own crew together which move into the protection/doorman security business, he moves from fighting at football to fighting on the doors that his security firm are protecting. They get into the rave scene by doing the doors around the party's of London. Cue worst impression of someone coming up on a pill "I facking love you Eddie" . Its then he bumps into Tony Tucker,  Tucker is some knobhead bullyboy bronzed beaut. "He's like the fakin honey monster" say's Carlton on their first meeting. TT gets him bang into the steroids as he bulks up then takes his mood swings out on the Mrs. The gang move more into the drug side of things; looking after parcels, picking up parcels and doing what bully's do best robbing parcels. With no brains to sort out there own operation's they resort to just basically taking peoples gear off them because they've got more muscle and have a bit of a reputation. They use the only thing they have to earn money, there fists.

I don't know how close to the truth Carlton's been when telling his tale (I shall reserve judgement till after I've read his book), but he seems not to get that involved with the drugs when ducking out of deals that were offered his way. And I think his gang probably had the Turkish skag dealers off in real life - thinking they could get away with it - but in the film is sort of skates over who actually had the skag off and sort of nudges you in the direction that the gang were just innocent bystanders in the robbery, when the Turks inject them with a truth drug and subject them all to 3 of days torture.

Enter Pat Tate to the fray,  fresh out the jug after a stretch for stealing 800 quid from a restaurant till after putting the waiter into a coma . He's a plain wrong 'un; does a runner from court, goes on the run, gets caught in Gibraltar. He's one of those plant pots that's forever bring untold attention off the police with rash erratic behaviour. TT & PT take most of their frustrations out on young Craig who drives them about and basically does the fetching and carrying for them and acts as their own personal punch bag. Roland Manookian who plays Craig I like as an actor (I thought he was good in Charlie Bright ) His scene where he kills a grafter called Chris by injecting him with ketamine,  making him OD then die, was the pick of the film " you ex skag head two bob junky cunt"

The gang go on more bullying sprees when the 'big time Charlies' tax a telly & dvd player off another grafter called Jimmy, after he lets them down on some travellers cheque scam. Jimmy becomes a thorn in there side and the whole shebang descends into the okay coral when Jimmy goes all Hungerford on their ass.

Now to the nitty gritty. Tate gets involved with a Micky Steel after getting introduced by friends he met in the Jug and Micky proceeds to take them for the mugs they really are. After a deal goes wrong (Micky promised them all kinds, used there money  then returned just their original stake) they start mouthing off to Mickey and have there heads blown to bits in the back of a range rover three times. And that is what I liked about the film, it gives you a couple of endings that are rumoured to of happen, then they give you what happened according to the grass out of the gang Darren Nichols, when he sang like a canary after getting caught with his hands on 10 key of puff. And it was his testimony that sent Mickey Steel and another fella away for a very long time.

As the end of the film states, the only people who know what really happened are the two 18 stone lumps lying six feet under.

Anyone who's seen the film on DVD did your copy have a sepia grey like tone it? with shaky camera movements?  and an out of focus feel? and did your sound track have some kid getting a call on his mobile then him talking for ten minutes about his plans for the night?  or was that just on my pirated copy. Apart from the visual & sound misdemeanours I thought the film was an Ok watch and I'll give it a 7.

Tit watch
11:28 in and 1:19:45





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