A spot of bovver
1995 crime movie I.D. about a cop who goes undercover to infiltrate a gang of East End football hooligans gets a very belated sequel with this feeble, low-budget effort. In ID2: Shadwell Army, however, the cop posing as a thug is a British Pakistani, Simon Rivers’ Mo, who starts rucking with the Shadwell Town lads after receiving tips from a local veteran (played by EastEnders Perry Fenwick, a survivor from the first film).
What is nettling his new pals are local gastro pubs and other signs of local gentrification, and their team’s Russian billionaire owner, but it is the opening of a new mosque that is the red rag that gets the plot moving.
It’s all very unconvincing – at one tense moment down the boozer Mo proves his bona fides to the Shadwell top dogs by knowing soap icon Ena Sharples’ tipple of choice. To make matters worse, the film’s limited resources don’t stretch to any stadium action, which means the gang never actually get to see a game.
Yet Neil Pearson’s far-right stirrer does raise a wry smile when he tries to explain to a tattooed thicko why they love Israel: their Islamic enemy’s enemy is their friend. ‘Do try to keep up.’
A post-mortem twitch, let’s hope, for the football hooligan movie genre.
Certificate 18. Runtime 92 mins. Director
ID2: Shadwell Army debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Tuesday 18 July. Available on Blu-ray & DVD from Universal Pictures.
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A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.