Login

Green Street Review

Image for Green Street

Matt (Wood) is expelled from Harvard for a crime he didn’t commit. With nowhere to go, he visits his sister in London and, through her shady but likeable brother-in-law Pete (Hunnam), is drawn into the murky world of football hooliganism...

★★★★★

Anchoring one of the most successful trilogies of all time can really hamper a career — just ask Mark Hamill. Which is why Elijah Wood has been keen to escape typecasting since The Lord Of The Rings ended, putting his baby blues to sinister use as a nebbish perv in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, a mute psycho in Sin City, and now a student turned to the dark side in his first proper post-Rings lead role.With its story about a repressed wimp who comes alive through brutality after he’s recruited into a violent organisation by a charismatic blond figurehead, it’s clear Green Street wants to be a British Fight Club. But while German-born director Lexi Alexander neatly emulates that movie’s visceral impact in her many bruising punch-up sequences, its other ace — scabrous satire — is sorely missing. Alexander isn’t interested in lampooning the overblown machismo of the West Ham Firm; instead she’s as easily seduced as Matt, insinuating that the Firm’s edgy camaraderie is something to be admired. Despite the film’s questionable morality, it’s occasionally very powerful, propelled by fine support performances. Which is more than can be said for Wood, whose conversion from scrawny brainbox into hardened thug fails to convince.

A surprisingly rose-tinted look at a subculture that really should have been stamped out some time ago.

More from Empire