Though labeled as 'the last great film of the nineties', I'd instead call this 'film' (loosely using that term) a last ditch, manipulative attempt at sneaking some slopped together, self-indulgent tripe before the turn of the century to cash in on a fading trend (in the pop culture sense - I know clubbing has had its' ups and downs, but from a marketable perspective, this was a 'hot' time to strike.) I listen to a wide range of music, and have gone clubbing in both the US and UK over the stretch of the 90's, so this topic isn't entirely Greek to me. And I have no problem with a movie that wishes to explore the highs and lows of said culture - many have complained about the 'lack of plot' of this movie. That is not what bothered me. Instead, I found this to be highly derivative and manipulative. The constant voice overs did not serve the same function they did in, say, Trainspotting (though that film had a plot, as well as something to say.) They instead seemed to be another tactic to wrangle the viewer in and create a false bond. A cheap ploy. Like, when Moff goes on about what a great time he's having being off his pickle, and then, eyes at the viewers' vantage point, stutters "ya', ya' know what I mean? Cushty! I know you wouldn't let me down! I knew it!" (paraphrase.) This seems to be there to create a sort of 'secret club' bond between the viewer and characters in the film. It happens several times again, but that's one of the more blatant examples I can think of.
Another thing that bothered me about this movie was that it used other manipulative tactics, just under different guises, so as to not alienate any of the potential viewers. Like when they're in the pub, 'bonding' over music they hate. Well, they groups they name drop are so mind-numbingly obvious in their 'badness' or 'cheesiness' that there's no way it could offend someone even lightly into the club scene. They list stuff like Backstreet Boys and Hanson. I think Hanson was already pretty much dead and gone by '99. There are about 10 other groups listed, but it's the same monster. If these were kids that were hardcore into club music/DJ culture, they'd instead list DJs they thought were whack. But it seems they refrain from doing this to keep it safe and inclusive b/c God forbid they name drop a DJ they dislike and it alienates a viewer.
Don't even get me started on the redo of the National Anthem!! "...It's hard being cool!" Pretty gusty of you all to say, as I don't consider any of you cool. Maybe a bit more modesty and instead "...It's hard TRYING to be cool..."
Another sloppy mistake,in what could have been an amusing scene, was where the jaded older club-goers ranted about how things have changed and it just isn't the same now as it was back in their heyday. What they mix up is during the 'Summer of Love" flashback, by listing the date as 1991. Anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of rave culture knows the Summer of Love was '89. But that's I guess just a triviality to Kerrigan (writer/director).
There are MANY more faults I have with this film, like, for example, who working retail like about half of the cast gets full weekends off? If you're lucky, you get one of the two days off. If you want Sat/Sun off, you often have to ask special permission, usually to much chagrin from your boss. Also, for such 'seasoned' club regulars, isn't Friday a bit of a 'tourist's' night to go out? What about Tuesday, etc...?
One more thing...They make fun of other groups they fit into mock-able 'tribes' (such as the 'students' back from Amsterdam potheads - who I know are annoying, but are they really more annoying than the five leads? - or the hip hop junkies you can more or less talk nonsense to in order to jack up the price of an LP.) I just found that another manipulative tactic. Another 'you're one of us, you're in the cool crowd'.
I think Kerrigan got lucky to an extent by bagging a few decent actors who clearly tried hard and gave high energy performances. For me, the funniest character featured was Danny Dyer/Moff. He had the only parts that really made me laugh, such as the Taxi Driver scene, phone sex story, and ill-fated mirror debacle. He was the most believable and the most entertaining. Though I will deduct points for the Star Wars party rant. Can we just stop it with those, even back in '99, they were played out! Kevin Smith has long had the monopoly on these, and they felt fresh when he did them. And seeing a Clerks poster in Jip's room made me somewhat suspicious. Also, the joke at the end about kids in the future having to smoke Moff's ashes b/c he's done all the drugs was ripped off almost VERBATIM from a Dennis Leary joke about Keith Richards off of his 'No Cure for Cancer' comedy album. I'm not overly familiar with Bill Hicks, but many accuse Leary of ripping HIM off, so it's pretty bad when you can trace some of the jokes so easily.
I just don't get the accolades this movie has amassed, particularly over the last decade,making it some sort of cult classic. Was I entertained?Mildly. Did I find it realistic? Perhaps if they hadn't tried so freaking hard. But it was a bit of a hot mess. I'm not trying to rag on anyone who relates or likes it, I just feel this film was a cheap attempt to cash in on the end of the century so-called 'electronica'(hate that word)craze. I guess it succeeded.But in my opinion, it leaves MUCH to be desired...