"Pirates is an easy-going comedy..."
THE "SXSW" PREMISE:
"New Year’s Eve 1999. Three life long friends drive through London in their tiny Peugeot 205, pumping a UK Garage set from the stereo and arguing about their Avirex jackets and Naf Naf imports. As the eighteen-year olds step into adulthood, they know their lives and friendships are on the brink of change. Determined to end the century on a bang, they drive from place to place in a desperate search for tickets for the best millennium party EVER. In their efforts to end up somewhere, they end up closer together."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
Pirates is a turn-of-the-century set comedy that is wholly good-natured and funny in bursts. Three friends aimlessly drive around London in a beater Peugeot. They laugh and listen to booming music. They are young men with a future as broad as the new millennium ahead. What could go wrong?
Pirates is an easy-going comedy with truly fun characters. But what should be a simplistic plot becomes nearly as directionless as the M25.
Cappo, Two Tonne, and Kidda are strong friends and promising hip-hop artists who want to kick in Y2K with something memorable - like partying at a prominent South London nightclub. To gain admittance, they need tickets and outfits, possibly a haircut, and definitely a wicked amount of luck. Throughout the waning night, their dreams are realized, lost, and reborn, all set to the soundtrack of London’s DJs.
Writer/director Reggie Yates smashingly captures the kinetic energy of their youthful lifestyle, one that mostly consists of spinning albums and devouring takeaway. Yates perfectly captures that feeling of being young, broke, and powerful. The situational humor the three easily fall into more than makes up for their thick, proprietary slang. Yet amidst the inside jokes and a Jamaican jerk chippy, the true conflict of the story becomes misplaced. Underlying the festivities ahead, Cappo (Elliot Edusah) internally dreads his announcement of leaving the trio (including Jordan Peters and Reda Elazouar) in favor of his studies. Externally, the three must obtain their tickets, and ultimately resolve their eventual loss. Cappo’s anxiety over his departure should have been a spectre constantly haunting their good times allowing the comedy of the night to beat away at their escapade to South London. Instead, Pirates becomes a base quest for good times. The humorous asides mix with the loud beats of the music, regrettably masking out those necessary beats of drama.
Edusah, Peters, and Elazouar are charming and enjoyable. They deserve to be seen more in this medium. Yates, likewise, has a frenetic style reminiscent of fellow countryman Edgar Wright. Yates must now learn to couple that energy with a tighter script. There are a lot of roads out there to be explored. Ones that even a Peugeot 205 can make.
As long as the sound system works.