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With a plot that quickly becomes boring, stilted dialogue, wooden acting, some awful Scouse accents and vacuous characters that do little to endear themselves to the viewer, Away Days is quite simply painful to watch.
Given the subject matter, this could have been a great film but unfortunately it falls short in every department apart from the soundtrack (and maybe the costume design). Although its makers have tried to position Away Days as a more cerebral and sophisticated football hooligan film, it has none of the entertainment value of say, Football Factory.
Characters move awkwardly from one scene to the next, striking pensive poses and spouting pseudo-intellectual rubbish, whilst director Pat Holden tries to ape Shane Meadows with plenty of slow-mo shots of stylishly dressed youths walking down bleak English streets. Sadly, Away Days has absolutely none of the warmth, wit, charm or humour of anything made by Meadows. The fact that the film is set in the North West, an area whose inhabitants are renowned for all of the above, makes the film’s failings all the more apparent.
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