The Final: Attack on Wembley (2024)

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The Final: Attack on Wembley Storyline

On July 11, 2021, Wembley Stadium was on the brink of a historic win for Gareth Southgate’s England team. The squad had inspired the country on their journey to England’s first major final since 1966, and the European Championship was within their reach. But as England supporters arrived at Wembley from all corners of the country, celebration quickly turned to chaos. Mayhem took over with scenes of drunkenness and drug-taking, and ticketless fans saw an opportunity to storm the stadium. With compelling first-hand testimony and visceral user-generated content, this is the dramatic story of a day that began with euphoria, and ended in a nation left reeling.

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The Final: Attack on Wembley Movie Reviews

Compelling if revolting documentary

As “The Final: Attack on Wembley” (2024 release from the UK; 82 min.) it is “11th July 2021”, and England is set to play in and host the final of the 2020 Euros (delayed by a year due to COVID) against Italy. The movie starts at 8 am (12 hours before kickoff), and people from all over England are descending upon London, already heavily drinking, and many without tickets for the game. What could go wrong? At this point we are 10 minutes into the documentary.

Couple of comments: this movie brings a chilling account of the events on July 11, 2021, leading up to the game. A number of factors were heavily at play: first, this was England’s fist chance since 1966 to win a major trophy; second, as in 1966, they would also be hosting the event; third, due to COVID delaying the tournament by a year, this was the first time people would be out and celebrating en masse; and last but not least: the English authorities vastly underestimated what was about to transpire. In short: all elements were in place for a massive for a colossal breakdown of security. The footage makes for absolute compelling if revolting viewing. I cannot readily recall having seen anything like this. The movie makers keep a tight pace throughout, and this documentary just flew by in no time.

“The Final” Attack On Wembley” started streaming on Netflix this weekend. Whether or not you are a soccer fan is frankly irrelevant. This is a documentary that shows what happens when an entire country is frenzied, with thousands of people determined to get into Wembley stadium, ticker or no ticket. SHOCKINGLY (not), pure mayhem and chaos ensues… Highly recommended.

Fails to make people reflect about what happened

You hear a lot of interview partners and you can see lots of personal recordings and CCTV footage. There is no narrator so all the facts you get are from a more personal point of view.

The interview partners consist of all kinds of people. Normal football fans, people excessively drinking and partying, getting into the stadium without a ticket but also an intimated security guard and an Italian father worrying about the well-being of his daughter. You hear stories about the love of football, racism, threats, physical fights and a little girl being thrown glass beer bottles at. This is sadly the point where the documentary fails hard. Only in the last 3 minutes ONE question is asked about how the hooligans felt about their behaviour this day. Instead we hear about their love of football and of how proud they are of what happened this day. On top of that we get a full 15 minute game summary that could have been 5 minutes max.

It’s shocking how many people were willing to put football over the well-being of others. It’s also shocking that this documentary misses this central aspect entirely and IMHO normalizes threats and vandalism in football culture.