Ultrà (1991)

4.5 out of 5

The football hooligan movie is a notoriously difficult genre to pull off successfully and has historically been a hit and miss affair with even the more successful titles often failing on points of detail that undermine the required realism.

While it is the British that have been the most prolific in this area Ultrà is, at the very least, equal to any offering from Blighty. Certainly up there with The Firm and miles better than the ludicrous Hobbit offering that fails for the unconvincing inclusion of Elijah Wood or the gone-native ID with its comedic hunchback hooligan and a Titty Twister style pub.

Mostly set on an overnight football-special train to a Juventus game the film is, in essence, a battle between two alpha males over a woman and for influence within the hierarchy of the AS Roma firm as the former top boy returns from prison to find he has lost both his status in the pack and his girlfriend to his best friend.

Child actor turned director Ricky Tognazzi helms and the stars Claudio Amendola and Ricky Memphis would return to work under the direction of the maestro in the excellent crime thriller La scorta.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics