One Night in Istanbul (2014) Review


Four Liverpool fans travel to Istanbul (without tickets) but with the dream of seeing their team lift the UEFA Champions League trophy for the fifth time against AC Milan.


Back in 2005 Liverpool managed the impossible when they came from 3-0 down to go on to win the game, making it 3-3, taking the game to extra time and penalties, something that really did not look possible at all and widely regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in football history. This film is therefore based on a play about four fans the journey to Istanbul to try and get to the final to see their team play.

The only problem about this though is that they are also involved in some gangsters and dodgy deals, even though they did actually know about all of that until it was too late. Which also makes it a slightly different film to how you would expect it, despite low ratings on different websites I thought I would give it a watch. I have an intense love for football and work in it full time, hold a season ticket for Newcastle United so anything football based I really do find that I have to watch.

I guess when your biggest plot point involved Hitler’s cufflinks it was never really going to be a great film at all. Which is certainly a shame as I felt that it had the potential to be another type of Fever Pitch which really gets under your skin and helps describe what it’s really like to be a diehard football fan. That is something that is missing from this film, we get small glimpses of this but not enough to really help and drive the film forward and into a better place.

Instead we get lots of drinking, which yes would happen and eating kebabs. Again that would happen, but I am sure that everything could have gone ever deeper and meant a lot more. For a comedy it didn’t really hit the high notes with funny moments either, it was pretty much on the edge for everything it was trying to do which is a shame as I think it was so close to being something good.

I probably found the “lucky pants” scenes the funniest and that I guess is confirming that it really isn’t that funny. I did really like that they had a couple of songs in though and more of that might have convinced me that it really is a good effort of a football fan film. I was surprised we didn’t get them singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, just the clips from the actual game on the TV.

Tommy and Gerry had been friends well forever and were so pleased that their sons were eventually getting to experience a European cup final. Although adding in that Tommy was onto his fourth wife and the previous three had left him for footballers makes you wonder how he could ever watch the sport again! I would be really interested to see how this is put together as the stage play it started out. Maybe it is something just for Liverpool fans to enjoy?

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