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Human Traffic (1999)

The weekend has landed!

Directed by:

Justin Kerrigan

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 96 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: Ireland, United Kingdom

The really scary thing about ‘Human Traffic’ is that it’s probably the best of its type. That “type”, in case you’re wondering, is the small pocket of films that hinge around the philosophy that taking drugs is big and clever, but inevitably labour their point because they’re too tied up in making it to offer the viewer anything else. Like a decent plot. Or a well-written script. Or, heaven forbid, a bit of entertainment.

‘Human Traffic’ is the best of that bad bunch predominantly because it has a reasonably strong cast, characters that are tolerable (I’d stop short of calling them outright likable), and is generally loved by that select group of people who buy into this sort of guff.

It’s set in Cardiff, where a group of pill-popping pals take us through their weekend of highs and lows – literally. Main protagonist is Jip (John Simm) who, in between driving under the influence, telling all and sundry about his problems downstairs, and letting us hear his unconvincing Del Boy impressions, is hell-bent on having the weekend of his life. Inevitably, that means more than a quiet pint down his local – but don’t expect it to mean anything actually happening, because it doesn’t.

First-time director Justin Kerrigan overloads his film with stylistics, more than likely because he seems to have little else in his armoury to fill an entire 90 minutes. It makes for tiresome viewing, particularly as the message being put across is both questionable and preachy. Sure, nothing bad happens to any of the characters despite their drug use. After all, that would fly in the face of the film’s intentions. Glorifying these people’s way of life would be a much tougher job if the main character was to wind up slurping NHS sludge through a straw after being found comatose in a nightclub toilet.

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It's Got: Too much hugging. Okay - they’re close friends. We get it.

It Needs: To reconsider its message.

DVD Extras Cast and crew interviews, a couple of TV spots, filmographies, a music video and a theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10

Alternatives:

Go, Rules of Attraction, South West 9, Trainspotting, Twin Town

Summary

Unless you’re a member of the taking-drugs-is-big-and-clever mob, give this one a wide berth.

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