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Cass Review

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A biopic based on the life of Cass Pennant, an orphaned Jamaican baby adopted by an elderly white couple and brought up in an all-white area of London, who became one of the most feared football crew leaders in Britain.

★★★★★

If, as Thatcher had it, hooligans were “the English disease”, Cass Pennant was hopelessly contaminated with the thug bug - 6’ 5” of black male rage who found acceptance on West Ham’s bearpit terraces. This chest-beating biopic charts his defiant rise in a racist Britain, from Barnardo’s stray to bullied schoolkid to top boy at überfirm the ICF, and lays on the questionable folk hero treatment with a shovel. The daunting Anozie is monolithic in the lead, and the soundtrack and ’80s yob nostalgia is spot on. Less appealing is a ploddy pace and a clumsily handled bid at redemption that rings horribly hollow. In the league of hooligan pics: above Green Street, below I. D., nowhere near The Firm.

A fair effort which does nothing to beat it's way out of a crowded genre.

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