Starring: David Beckham, Nick Butt, Ryan Giggs
Director: Benjamin Turner, Gabe Turner
Running Time: 99 mins
The Class Of 92 is a British documentary about the story of six Manchester United footballers, who worked their way from ordinary backgrounds to conquering the world of football, sticking together through the years.
This is a brilliant documentary. On the one hand, it’s an absolutely fascinating and fantastically in-depth look into the rise of the legendary Class of 92, making it a must-watch for football fans, but it also manages to go beyond the world of football and prove a riveting insight into British culture during the 90s, as well as the inner psyches of the six footballers in focus.
First off, however, let’s talk about the football side of things. All sports documentaries aim to strike a balance between purely retelling the story of a sports career, and something a little deeper, but it’s generally an uneven one against the sporting side of things. The Class Of 92, however, gets it spot-on, and proves a fully satisfying retelling of Manchester United’s enormous success during the 1990s, as well as the dramatic rise of Beckham, Butt, Giggs, Neville, Neville and Scholes’ careers.
With fantastically edited stock footage from their biggest games of the decade, the film does a brilliant job of letting you relive the highs and lows, and even if you know the results or have seen the clips a million times before, directors Benjamin and Gabe Turner give all these classic moments fresh life by combining fantastic editing, a great score and riveting narration and interviews.
So, in short, this film is the perfect documentary for football lovers, but what’s even better is that it’s not fully exclusive to fans of the game. Yes, if you’re more into your football, there are moments that you’ll undoubtedly appreciate more, but what the film does so well is allow you to form a really strong emotional connection with the six players over the course of the film, meaning that when you’re watching them out on the pitch, it’s not all about the football, but rather the people themselves.
Although the film isn’t always the sleekest documentary, it uses a very effective structure to make an emotionally engaging story. Throughout, we get a specific focus on each of the six of the class of 92, where we learn about a player’s background, how they came to Manchester United, their lives off the pitch in the midst of the Cool Britannia culture wave in the 90s, and of course their playing careers.
That alone is more than enough to make each of the men absolutely riveting to follow throughout, something that I really didn’t expect to be intrigued by. What’s more, however, is that the film also puts a lot of emphasis on the six as a group of friends. Paul Scholes sums it up excellently by saying that their legendary careers still felt like ‘playing a game of football with your mates’, and that’s the reason that this film is so emotionally engaging.
Yes, the football side of things is fun, and each of their individual stories is fascinating, but what’s most remarkable is seeing the six all go through the experience of hitting the big time at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and although their paths may diverge from time to time, they stick together through thick and thin, a side of the story that gives the film a really strong emotional core, and makes it that extra bit more fascinating, and that’s why I’m giving The Class Of 92 an 8.0 overall.