Let me ask the general populace this question: Do you ever watch a film, think that it was okay, and then are astounded to learn that a sequel to the film comes along for no real reason at all? Secondly, when you watch the sequel, did you find that it eradicated all that you liked about the original? That's exactly how I felt after watching Green Street Hooligans 2. The first film was written and directed by the talented Lexi Alexander, and after watching this sequel, I abhor all things related to green or streets.
The sequel was written by T. Jay O'Brien and directed by Jesse V. Johnson (The Fifth Commandment), and picks up shortly after the first film, when a fight between the supporters of England's West Ham United and Millwall football/soccer clubs (longtime rivals) has taken some fatalities. West Ham supporter Dave (Ross McCall, reprising his role from the first film) and a couple of his friends are incarcerated and outnumbered by Millwall supporters headed by Marc (Graham McTavish, Rambo). Making life harder for Dave and his friends is a corrupt prison guard named Veronica Mavis, played by Deanna Troi herself, Marina Sirtis. However, Dave and his friends find a couple of friendly ears, namely Arthur (Treva Etienne, Black Hawk Down), who is also a prison guard and unsure of Sirtis' motives. Dave's got a girl back home in Michelle (Suzanne May, Two Weeks Notice) who he wants to see again soon. With any luck, a prison football match between the West Ham and Millwall inmates will help secure a quicker freedom.
What I enjoyed about the first film was that it introduced perfectly the allure of a football supporters' group and how one could easily see themselves being part of the violent madness that can accompany it. This sequel basically rids itself of that endearing feature and becomes a prison movie that happens to have some football-related mentions, along with a final-act match for all the marbles. And that's not really that bad either, but the fact that it uses practically every tired prison film convention makes me think that the filmmakers wanted to try and have their cake and eat it too. For that, I must object.
Simply put, while British convicts may be connected to the outside, supporter's groups as a whole have a communications network that surprise many, the fact that we have to walk down this road in Green Street Hooligans 2 is boring. As soon as Michelle was introduced in the film, I found myself wondering when the Millwall faithful would kidnap her or worse, and I wonder how Veronica would get her comeuppance by Arthur, as he battles to expose the proverbial corrupt prison system. And to carry this charade on for 90 minutes was insulting to my intelligence.
Worse yet, you don't have to look into the wars between West Ham and Millwall to see the real-life mess of things both sides made in a fight before (and during) a recent match, which included fans running onto the field and a couple of other fans being stabbed. In real life, nonsensical behavior between rivaling fans hurts the sport, much in the same way senseless sequels can hurt the image of the film (or films) that preceded it.The Disc:
The 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation of Green Street Hooligans 2 is underwhelming to say the least. While it has little to no edge enhancement, there are more than a couple of artifact problems in darker lit scenes, and the film grain makes it look as if the presentation was from an old taped copy burned onto disc. Much of what occurs was shot handheld to keep things gritty, but I think there's such a thing as making an image look too gritty, and with the prison sequences, it's flat-out distracting.Audio:
The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track is a little bit better; there are a few instances of surround activity, and the score helps get the subwoofer working every now and then. However it sounds as if the mix of the film was a little unbalanced; dialogue sounds much too weak for a recent feature and the overcompensation tends to annoy as a result.Extras:
Not really all that much; you get a trailer for the film, along with several other features and with a making-of look at the film (10:47) that serves more as an exercise to rationalize the reasonings for making a sequel that nobody wanted.Final Thoughts:
Green Street Hooligans 2 is a sequel that nobody should have thought about, with a script that nobody cared about, with performances that are unconvincing and technical/supplemental features that are boring. On the flip side, the movie...well, there's nothing really good to crow about within the movie, is there? Based on that, don't corrupt your good memories of the first film by watching this rubbish.