It’s no mystery why the critically acclaimed UK flick <em>Hooligans</em> refuses to catch a break with the big Hollywood powerhouses. Snagging multiple awards at US film festivals (Malibu and South by Southwest included) and showing a solid audience at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, <em>Hooligans</em>, with it’s incredibly engaging, unique and violent subject matter, is a surefire crowd-pleaser. However, no true American would enjoy watching British lads pick beat up a Harvard yank after a match of what us Westerners call “soccer”, now would they? <em>Hooligans</em>, directed by Lexi Alexander, not only brings audiences into the world of competitive UK football, but also poses important arguments over the value of brotherhood and the lengths at which one would go to remain a part of it.
<em>Hooligans</em> begins where Matt Buckman’s college career ends. Buckman (Elijah Wood), editor of the Harvard newspaper and typical New England overachiever, is caught in a fictitious drug scandal staged in order to keep rich and snobby roommate Jeremy Van Holden, (Terence Jay) out of trouble. Just shy of getting his degree and without a place to truly call home, Buckman flies oversees to join his sister Shannon (Claire Forlani) and her family. Shannon’s husband Steve has important plans for the evening and, although hesitant, leaves little Matt in the hands of brother Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam). As the full-time leader of team United’s Green Street Elite, a gang that UK “football” teams call “firms”, Pete wants nothing to do with the yank but following his brother’s orders and takes Matt out to his first football match. A bunch of broken bottles and bloody lips later, Buckman is hooked and wants in. The only problem? His hobby as a journalist and his American skin-- both of which could potentially bring the GSE out from the shadows and cause tremendous turmoil.