football fans are a peculiar lot and being rational doesn’t really go hand in hand with supporting a club. The anger, the humiliation, the indignity, the depression; anyone supporting one of the many inconsistently underperforming football clubs knows them well. Losses can be attributed to myriad factors, but it’s often forgetting to wear your lucky pants or the ‘wanker in the black’ who get the blame, not the over-paid useless footballers. In Matt Wilde’s film Kicking-Off, it’s definitely the latter.
It’s the last game of the season and their club need to win today in order to avoid relegation. Loyal fans Wigsy (Warren Brown) and Cliff (Greg McHugh) are sat in the pub watching on tenterhooks as the game approaches its nail-biting climax. Their club score but the referee disallows the goal and the opposition go straight down the other end and score the winning goal. There’s only one person to blame and that’s the referee, Anthony Graves, and Wigsy is determined to do something about it.
Kicking-Off won Film of the Festival at Raindance last year, but whilst there are some nice touches and interesting ideas, It’s a real TV movie of a film. Maybe some football fans might find something to like but it makes a film like Grimsby look like a modern classic. It’s another in a line of dreadful British football films. In all fairness there’s some half-decent acting and a couple of nice scenes but the forced emotional sub-plot is painful to the extreme.
Kicking-Off is out in cinemas 21 April and on DVD and On Demand 25 April.