Throwing alpha-geezer agro and angst over a classical framework (warring families, the Judas, the old King), Lexi Alexander’s debut mixes vicious flashes of authenticity with dopey cliché but scores a heartfelt, ragged wallop that rattles through your skull.
No thanks to Charlie Hunnam’s rub-a-dub mockney, hobbit-gone-hardcore Elijah Wood holds his own as the milquetoast Harvard student stumbling into West Ham’s hooligan firm. But it’s the thrilling teeth-on-tarmac street brawls that give Green Street a red-raw adreno-spike, lensed with brutal, breathless energy by Alexander. Designer violence? Hardly. This is hooliganism as football fight-club: doped up on the taste of beer, blood and burnt nerves, our hooligans (all loving dads, wounded lads and numbed wage-slaves) rage against emasculating social anaemia. And they, like everyone else in Greet Street, end up fucked. Closing as a (literally) striking cautionary tale, Alexander’s movie dares to amp up the primal fizz before dousing it with devastating consequences. Sadly, she has less to say on the DVD, which packs just four token featurettes.