I.D. (1995)

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Written by: ,
Starring: , , , , ,

I.D. (1995)
Certificate: 18
Directed by: Philip Davis
Written by: Jim Bannon and Vincent O’Connell
Starring: Reece Dinsdale, Sean Pertwee, Richard Graham, Philip Glenister, Perry Fenwick and Warren Clarke



Four East End coppers, John (Reece Dinsdale), Trevor (Richard Graham), Eddie (Perry Fenwick) and Charlie (Philip Glenister), are assigned to go undercover as football hooligans to unearth the leaders of a the Shadwell FC football firm.
The group ease themselves into the Shadwell firm’s local pub and are soon joining in with the fights that the firm get themselves into. Soon the four coppers are proper Shadwell ‘dogs’ and enjoy the job they have been given. However, John (Dinsdale) enjoys his new role a bit too much and the line between his two lives starts to blur as he spirals ever deeper into the dangerous Shadwell firm.

There have been a fair few football firm films released such as Green Street, The Football Factory and The Firm, just to name a few, but none compare to I.D. Starring Reece Dinsdale, who is better known recently as Coronation Street’s Joe McIntyre, the film packs a punch and shows how people can fall into the dangerous, compelling unit that is a football firm. With strong characters such as Sean Pertwee’s, Martin, and Warren Clarke’s landlord, Bob, John feels safe and stronger with them by his side. He feels powerful and finds physical violence gratifying and exhilarating. Have you ever been part of a group or a club and know that they’ve got your back and you’ve got theirs? A bit like when animals hunt in the wild. A pack is more forceful than one man alone. The feeling of belonging, along with the adrenaline of being in a fight is too alluring for John and he immerses himself in it so much that he comes out the other side as a different person altogether. His fellow officers, Richard Graham, Perry ‘Billy Mitchell’ Fenwick and Philip ‘Gene Hunt’ Glenister are having a whale of a time, getting to watch football and get drunk in the pubs as part of their job. However, where the fighting is concerned, they’d rather be elsewhere, and they still know their roles as police officers.

The film is gritty and feels real. The thuggish behavior is never glamorised, although there are odd times where I seemed to be enjoying what was happening on screen a little too much. The change in John’s personality and behavior becomes starkly obvious when he returns home to his wife and when out for social get-togethers with his wife and co-workers. He changes from a smart dressed guy to a bomber jacket wearing, long haired ruffian who’s constant bad temper hampers his relationship between his wife and his comrades. His circle of associates also changes as he sets his eyes on a new girl and counts Martin, Gumbo and Bob as his new friends.

This is a strong, British film, brilliantly directed by one of the best British actors, Philip Davis. Philip also makes an appearance in the film as the Duty Sergeant.
The film is edgy, gritty… everything you could possibly want in a true football gang film. Forget your Danny Dyer rubbish, get your hands on I.D. and see how it’s really done!

Rating: ★★★★½


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About Bat 4442 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.


  1. Apart from The Firm which starred Phillip Davis as The Yeti, this is the best football hooligan film out there. It may be a little dated now in the old violence stakes but it is a real and quite disturbing film at times. The downward spiral John’s life takes is quite shocking, and the ending is bleak as hell! Still, with characters like Bob and Gumbo, how could you not love these thugs! “You, and you are fuckin old Bill!!!” “I don’t take that from any runt!! You and me outside now!!!!” Ha, love this film

  2. I’ve watched this film more times than I care to remember! It’s a very good, brutal film. Better than any toss Danny Dyer (I can’t see his name without hearing Mark Kermode’s impression!). Quite a shocking ending as well. This is probably my favourite of the hooligan films I’ve seen.

  3. Coming from a hooliganism background this is as close a story as you are going to get without a true fly on the on the wall series where they don’t care and don’t hide anything (like that would happen). It’s impossible to put everything in to a film that happens over a season without it feeling shoehorned and they couldn’t show an unedited of the old days. I.D. Does a fantastic job of showing how you become part of a family and place implicit trust in the people around you who are watching your back so when you are bonding by relaxing in pub etc you embrace the culture. I see it as unlikely that as few as 1 from 4 characters would take the role on in some way in movie. Overall a cracking film. Everyone interested in I.D. Should Also watch Donal Macintyre documentary on hooliganism with headhunters.

  4. By the way the background I am talking about was many years ago in the times ICF etc I have been a family man who after that knows the proper values in life the true important things and and looks back with both regret and well if I hadn’t done it it I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

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