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The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (2012)
Written and directed by Paul Tanter
Certificate 18

Before watching THE RISE AND FALL OF A WHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN, I had preconceptions that it was going to be another I.D., Green Street, The Firm, etc, but in actual fact, White Collar Hooligan is anything but these films.

Unemployed Mike (Nick Nevern) loves nothing more than watching his favourite football team and having the odd scuffle with the rival fans and the police. Mike bumps into his old friend Eddie (Simon Phillips) during a post-match riot and is offered a job by him to work as a courier, delivering packages for cash-in-hand, no questions asked. Concerned he might be drug running, Mike checks the packages and is stunned to find computer parts. After a few weeks delivering and collecting the packages, Eddie offers him a promotion with the chance to make £1000 a night. With the offer too hard to resist, Eddie explains to Mike what exactly they are involved in: Credit card fraud. A stunned Mike is unsure about getting involved, but after Eddie convinces him that the only victims are the banks, he joins the team as a runner. Soon Mike is working day and night withdrawing money from ATM’s with cloned credit and debit cards and spending his new earned fortune on booze, drugs and a good time. Little does he realise that he is merely a pawn in a much deeper and dangerous world, where the people at the top call the shots and to refuse is futile.

Director Paul Tanter has created a gripping, gritty tale of the British criminal underworld which the viewer can easily relate to. Whilst many movies focus on the criminality of drugs smuggling and supplying, Tanter has opted for the more common crime of credit and debit card fraud which has affected people from all walks of life. The fraud gang in the film include computer and technology geeks, people who you wouldn’t necessarily link with organised crime but are an integral part of the ‘machine’. Whilst withdrawing other money from the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ looks harmless, it isn’t. In reality, banks aren’t the only victims of this crime. When cloned cards are used in shops and on the internet, the bank claims the money back, known as a ‘charge-back,’ from the business that exchanged goods or services for the fraudulent payment. Consequently, the business ends up out pocket with no payment for the initial transaction, loss of product/service and a chargeback fine on top of that and the people running these businesses that are affected are people like you and I, being the owner of an independent village shop to a multi-million pound business. Crimes like this have a knock on effect, leading companies into debt thus forcing their employees into redundancy. Whilst White Collar Hooligan doesn’t glamorise the crime, do take care to realise that credit card fraud is bad for everyone, not just banks.

Nick Nevern effortlessly takes the role of likeable London lad Mike, who bumps into old pal Eddie in the nick of time. Struggling with job interviews, where he hilariously but unintentionally makes a bad impression,  and relying on girlfriend Katie (Rita Ramnani) to provide for them financially, Mike needs the money and has to set his morals aside when taking on the job. Simon Phillip’s Eddie is an accomplished supervisor, a little slippery at times but loyal to his colleagues, especially Mike who is a ‘what you see is what you get’ sort of guy. London gangster film favourite Billy Murray makes an appearance later in the film as Mr Robinson, a former head of a firm and whilst his screentime doesn’t amass to more than 10 minutes, his impression is felt for the rest of the movie. It is, however, Nick Nevern’s show and he proves he’s leading man material, firmly gripping the viewer’s attention from his rise right down to his fall. Unlike other characters, we can sympathise with Nick’s character Mike as he bares a sensitive soul, one which yearns for the good but needs guidance to get there. However, not everyone along the way sets him on the straight and narrow path and Mike’s trust is taken advantage of which results in his downfall.

This is a stylish effort, one which oozes Britishness and keeps it realistic at all times. It may be a sharp, brutal crime thriller but it manages to throw in a sprinkle of subtle humour for good measure, just how we Brits like it. The Rise and Fall of a White Collar Hooligan is smart, engaging and even a little educational. Guy Ritchie, your time is up. Paul Tanter is the new king of the Brit Gangster Flick.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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About Bat 4417 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.

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