That a notorious triple murder of three Essex gangster back in 1995 inspired a couple of films is hardly surprising but that Rise of the Footsoldier Origins is now the fifth film in what has become an increasingly popular franchise is perhaps more so. With the franchise having spin offs about the three murdered men Tony Tucker, Pat Tate and Craig Rolfie, this latest film Rise of the Footsoldier Origins goes back to …well ….their origins and how they first met up and formed their gang. It’s Tony Tucker that the film focuses on, an ex soldier now working as a doorman to a nightclub that he enforces with his own level of psychotic brutality ensuring not only that if your names not down you’re not coming in but also if your names not down you’re also likely to be going home with a near fatal beating too.
It’s this level of enforcement that ensures there’s never trouble on the door and the club’s business is huge outstripping all the other clubs in the area so when club owner Dave Simms (Keith Allen) own establishment starts going down the pan he hires Bernard (Vinnie Jones) to wrest back control from a bunch of coke snorting football thugs led by a bleached blonde Burberry clad estate agent who is soon put right about who comes into the club. And it’s Bernard who approaches Tucker and his crew of doormen to assist and who accept in exchange for a sizeable cut of the takings and at the same time gets involved with a weasly, lank aired small time drug dealer Rolfe with a nose that hoovers up so much it puts Dyson cleaners to shame. But it’s the estate agent humiliated by being barred and beaten publicly on the door that is the key to Pat Tate (Craig Fairbrass) getting involved as it’s Tate who supplies him with drugs to deal and when the estate agent calls on his help it doesn’t go quite the way that might be expected.
Like the previous films in the franchise the script is profane in the extreme right from the start with barely a line *@#”! word #+*%!” uttered with barely a non #+*&!”^ swear word in it, you *@+! Co-written by director Nick Nevern and Andrew Loveday ‘Rise of the Footsoldier Origins’ is a compelling insight into how Tucker got drawn into the drug dealing that would end his life so brutally with his face shotgun blasted in a car in a field that the first film covered and it’s fair to say that it was an inevitability with the way the men carried on.
There’s a great cast though with Vinnie Jones both menacing and at times given a few of the films lighter moments as relief from the brutal and graphic violence of which there is much and perhaps the most chilling moment is that when a character walks into a flat taped up with wall to wall plastic sheets that hints at what’s to come. Craig Fairbrass oozes a barely suppressed rage as a psychotically violent and misogynist drug dealer with a trigger hair temper that threatens to go off at any perceived slight. It’s perhaps Terry Stone as Tucker who conveys less menace only because, though bald in real life, for the role he wears the sort of wig that looks like he’s dashed out of the house grabbing the cat and plonked it on his head. There’s also a few cameos from the likes of Michelle Collins, the late Heavy D and Conor Benn as his dad Nigel and Billy Murray reprises a role from a previous Footsolider film and there’s even a couple of real life porn stars who pop up too
Nick Nevern, himself an actor who appeared in the last Footsolider film, directs and he’s put together a decent film on what is a low budget (the night clubs even when full seem empty) but it captures the late eighties era well via its use of music and there are plenty of well handled moments of both drama and at times excruciating violence. The structure of the script as the characters paths cross is intriguing and certainly from the start might have benefitted from a voiceover such as in Goodfellas or Casino where a character comments on what is going on onscreen. But that’s a minor quibble because fans of the franchise will love this latest entry chapter.
We spoke to Craig Fairbrass about Rise of the Footsoldier Origins …….
Here’s the trailer for Rise of the Footsoldier Origins…..
Here’s the premiere of Rise of the Footsoldier 2….