I.D.


Saturday afternoon football in the 1980's

Actor Phil Davies debut feature film is a terrific story about how policemen can be turned on by an adrenalin rush when working undercover. It emphasizes the problems that that can occur when attempting to settle back into ‘normal’ life and under some circumstances never quite making it!  Set in the 1980’s I.D. (1994) uses as its core component football hooligan gangs but could easily have used extreme political groups, student organisations or terrorist bodies. Its story involves four policemen that are assigned undercover role’s to penetrate one of London’s notorious East End football gangs and reveal the men that are behind the organization of footballs on terrace entertainment. It’s not long before our four brave Bobbies get to enjoy the work just a little too much especially Reece Dinsdale who plays John a happily married ambitious young copper who slowly transforms into one of the people he is trying to expose.

and not just in the UK!

The logo of the ICF.
The other three covert officers are played by Richard Graham (Gangs of New York 2002), Eastenders star Perry Fenwick and Philip Glenister who is probable best known for playing Gene Hunt in Life on Marsand it’s sequel Ashes to Ashes. Other well known faces belong to Warren Clark and Saskia Reeves. The film was loosely based on a real life Scotland Yard undercover operation known as ‘Operation Full Time’ that attempted to identify the leaders of West Ham’s Inter City Firm. The ICF was the basis of both Alan Clarke’s The Firm (1988) and the 2005 film Green Street. I found Phil Davies film surprisingly good, well made and well acted by an experienced UK cast. It comes across as more believable than some of the football thug films that tend to highlight the violence and very little else.