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Human Traffic

Rated [R], 92 minutes
Starring John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shawn Parkes, Danny Dyer, Nicola Reynolds, Dean Davies
Written and Directed by Justin Kerrigan

IN SHORT: Either incredibly relevant or a dose of wistful nostalgia

Word is that the GenY kidlets across the Pond in the U.K. have gone bananas over Human Traffic. I can see why. The film, detailing 48 hours of freedom from "McJobs" and other degrading lifestyle choices in the lives of 6 young adults, lays out the booze, the drugs, the clubs scene, the rush, the crash, the sex, and the trying to keep it all under control for Sunday dinner with the parents for all to see. It doesn't hold back on any point which, for the clubkids who feel the need to see their lives on the big screen, only the accents get in the way.

The sad fact of the matter, folks, is that there's nothing new in this movie to anyone who's ever been clubhopping in the 90s . . . or 80s . . . or hit the discos in the 70s. It just hasn't been put down in the first person documentary format (and I emphasize that this is not a documentary). As with any self-perceived group, if you see "your life" up on screen accurately portrayed, you flock to the cinema. If you've reached the point where the scene isn't fun anymore, Human Traffic is a rental with occasional lapses of brilliance. Those moments depend on whether or not what you see on the screen fires off a set of neurons in what is left of your brain.

Jip (John Simm) is our narrator. He's a grunt in a clothing store. Carries sexual baggage 'cuz his "Mr. Floppy" is, well, you get the drift. He's taken to clubbing with his best pal Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington) whose love life is just as floppy, though not in the physical sense. Koop (Shaun Parkes) is a record salesman -- a "vinyl junkie" -- who is insanely jealous of his faithful girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds) who has just quit her fastfood McJob. Last on line is Moff (Danny Dyer) who lives with his parents and stumbles around in a drug induced haze.

Writer/director Justin Kerrigan has based these characters on people he knows. The clubs and the dialog on events in his life. There's a wee bit of a story that plays out over the weekend revelry and, at times, I wasn't sure if I was watching acting or real life drug induced conversation. Either way, nothing much has changed between the 90s and the 80s -- from Koop's deft hand movements laying out the perfectly balanced line of cocaine to Moff's philosophical discussion of Star Wars and an in depth description of the verbal battle to grab a toke off a stranger's spliff.

As I said up top, if you've lived the scene, there's stuff here that is incredibly funny, even if your fifteen years beyond it as I am. If you're in the scene now, Human Traffic is probably dead on. Only the drugs have changed

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Human Traffic, he would have paid...


Rental level for this old fart. And, oh, that wistful sense of nostalgia for rushes gone by. All fondly remembered and not missed a bit.

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