Cass (18)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner30/07/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Engaging drama that tells a remarkable true story, thanks to an insightful script and strong performances from a talented cast.

What's it all about?
Adapted from Cass Pennant's best-selling autobiography, the film opens as Cass (Nonso Anozie) is gunned down outside the nightclub where he works. We then flash back to his childhood, as the young Cass (Verelle Roberts) first gains respect through fighting back against racist bullies, later earning a place in the notorious West Ham-supporting hooligan firm, The ICF (The Intercity Firm).

As a six foot two black man, Cass becomes an instantly recognisable target for both the police and rival hooligan firms and he's eventually given the first long term sentence for football-related violence, as the result of a crackdown by the Thatcher government. While inside, Cass decides to write his story and when he gets out, he meets and marries Elaine (Natalie Press), while vowing to change his life. However, there is pressure on Cass to return to his violent past and seek vengeance on his would-be killer.

The Good
It's fair to say that Anozie is not the world's greatest actor, but he has a compelling screen presence that holds our interest throughout. There's also strong support from a talented supporting cast that includes Natalie Press, Leo Gregory (as Cass's best friend) and Linda Bassett as Cass's beloved mother, Doll, who adopted him from a St Barnardo's orphanage.

Director Jon S. Baird plays close attention to period detail, capturing the look and feel of the 1980s with the help of a terrific soundtrack. He handles the violence scenes well, so that you get a sense of the excitement that Cass talks about, even as you're appalled by it.

The Great
However, the film's trump card is its engaging and frequently insightful script – in particular, there's a superb scene where Cass is interviewed by a local news show and gives an eloquent and thought-provoking speech about hooliganism and the media.

Worth seeing?
This is an engaging, well made and sharply written British drama that is definitely worth seeing. Great soundtrack too.

Film Trailer

Cass (18)
Cass has been reviewed by 3 users
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 19/08/2018 04:58

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films