Awaydays has some big brass balls claiming to being the same league as This Is England. Even the tag line of Football, Fighting and F***ing is seriously stretched from the truth. Yes, Football is the backdrop to this film, but it’s so distant as to be nothing more than a reason for the fighting, which in reality, isn’t all that. As for the F***ing, yes, there is some sex, but as with most of this film, it just leaves you cold and uninterested.
Rather Awaydays is a film about having to find you place in life again, set to the backdrop of soccer hooligans who follow their team when they have Awaydays for the single purpose of cutting up the oppositions supporters.
The main focus of Awaydays is 19 year old Carty, whose recently lost his mum, and is drifting in a dead end office job and is trying to figure out his place in life. Then at a soccer match, he sees one of The Pack cut an opposing team’s supporter with a box cutter and is instantly transfixed.
Somehow he meets up with Elvis, who Carty sees as his way into The Pack, and the glamourous life of being part of the toughest football hooligans in the area. Elvis however sees Carty as his way out of The Pack, as a possible lover – though this is never explored past the obvious sexual tension – and possibly a way to runaway from life and set up a new beginning in Germany.
But Carty is only interested in taking out his own form of vengeance on society for the death of his mother, and in doing so alienates himself from everyone he cars, joining a pack who never really accept him.
Outside of a badly handled plot, Awaydays is sunk by it’s lack of direction, massive plot holes and an inability to have the viewer relate to, or emphasis with any of the main character.
Unlike Shane Meadows’ This Is England, we have no-one to care for, and for the most part our only passion is for the film to end quickly.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read