Five English football fans have a violent encounter with a group of Russian hooligans at the European Cup. Their fight leaves one man dead and a vengeful Russian with an axe to grind.
Two years later, former SAS man Ed Leighton (Ben Freeman) and four of his best mates travel to the World Cup in Russia, hoping for a trouble-free tournament. Unfortunately for them, the Russians have other ideas.
Herded into a Russian prison and dragged to an unknown secure location, Ed and his mates must find a way out. Aided by the mysterious Veronika (Ali Bastian: The Bill), Ed, Tom, Vince, Jeff and Davie (Charlie Wernham: Bad Education) must evade the most dangerous Russian gangster Dimitry (Oleg Hill) intent on retribution.
Hooligan Escape is no mug, it stands apart from the countless hooligan titles out there and becomes something rather individual and special. It doesn’t try to compete with the likes of Green Street, Football Factory or any of the classics. It throws itself into its own situation, makes up its own rules and the football hooliganism focus lasts all of 10 minutes in the films opening sequence.
This particular hooligan flick is restricted by its budget but it doesn’t stop it from being a joy to watch. The film pulls no punches and is thoroughly entertaining. The tension built within the Russian prison is palpable and as the movie stands it’s ground it really becomes a gritty, feisty and mouthy encounter.
With many of these independent hooligan movies all trying to be the next big man on campus, it’s the acting that lets the majority of them down. Thankfully, with Hooligan Escape this isn’t an issue and both our hooligans and our Russians are both believable and well portrayed.Ali Bastian and Ben Freeman steal the show in this one providing numerous speculations throughout and a few twists and turns along the way.