This ultra violent movie focusing on two rival football hooligan gangs, is in fact - as much about them as it is about the prison officers controlling them
Filmed in America, the movie seeks to show a UK establishment seething with drugs, corruption and violence
Quite possibly rolling every incident from every UK establishment into just a few months at one establishment - this movie shows corruption to such a serious degree, that the SO depicted, should in fact be doing time alongside the very inmates that she is in charge of.
While prisoners in this movie would not dream of assaulting any prison officer, they have a different code for rival prisoners.
The S.O is seen to write off one GBH after another, while supplying Class A drugs to the meanest king pin on the block, for serious cash in return.
She is like Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, she has the stuff to be both a sterling Prison Officer and a Supervisor but has at some stage, been turned to 'the dark side' and this has not escaped the attention of some of her Prison Officers, but what they choose to do about it is pretty realistic. In fact the whole movie seems to be like an episode of 'THE BILL'. It shows life in a prison - but to avoid boring you - it rolls every exciting bit ever known, into a short space of time and drops the long spaces of calm and smooth running, that nobody would be interested in seeing
In one part of the movie an up and coming hard nut, decides to jump the queue in the canteen, the ensuing punch up, has to be explained before the Prison Governor by both prisoners and prison officers. In other parts of the movie, trustee prisoners wearing highly visible red arm bands, are shown to be abusing their status - one is the drugs courier for the SO and another is the meanest king pin on the block who never hesitates to GBH anybody in his way. None of the GBHs seem to merit investigation of any kind.
And while watching the movie, you come to realise that these prison officers never wear a hat or a tie, they have their white shirts, epaulettes and radio and that's enough. Maybe this approach has developed from the way prison officers have had to respond to regular alarms. You're not going to bother putting on a hat or a tie to run to an alarm are you? I enjoyed one scene where a Prison Officer sees a monitor offline in the control room. He quickly suspects that something really bad is going down and works rapidly to restore the monitor. He succeeds and then puts out an alarm over the radio telling "ALL GUARDS GO TO SEGREGATION BLOCK NOW" I was impressed to see this system work well.
It's an action movie in it's own right and despite the panning it got from film critics at the time, it does feature UK prison officers - some of them trying to do their best against overwhelming corruption and apathy. Definitely worth a look.
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