Cheap Hollywood melodrama spoils the crisp violence of Bill Buford’s “Among The Thugs”, the book which spawned a bracing stage adapation—and this, a poorly cast stab at sociology by way of “Fight Club”. Hints of authenticity bob up here and there, but are drowned out by the film’s insistence on downplaying the truly fascinating strand of the story, the football hooligans, in favor of stock gangland tropes.
Elijah Wood putters along in his brooding, boyish look of wan yearning, utterly failing to offer any motivation as to why a guy expelled from Harvard would leave Cambridge instead of staying to appeal, then move to London, catch on with thugs, and eat all that smelly, slimy, runny food. The script provides the carrots, but Wood chases them not out of hunger but because he happens to be sleepwalking in their general direction. “Green Street Hooligans” doesn’t lack all interest, but it probably needed bolder casting and a slot on the small screen.