Weekender 2011 ★★★½

“We are Acid House pioneers, man.”
-Dylan (Jack O’Connell)

Weekender follows a couple of young blokes from Manchester in the 1990’s, who get involved in the booming rave scene of Ibiza and Amsterdam. Of course, this would get dull if there wasn’t a little drama, and the two find themselves slipping into a much darker, sinister world and apart from one another.
So yeah, that’s all there is to it really. Simple, but effective, and I enjoyed it for what it was.

Most of the cast are likely unknown to anyone outside the UK, or at least those unfamiliar with British television (although a few have had breaks recently), but all deliver fine performances. Jack O’Connell is proving to be an growing talent with roles in Eden Lake, Harry Brown and upcoming FrightFest closing film, Tower Block, though he is still probably best known for his part in Skins. Henry Lloyd Hughes, whom also delivers an admirable performance, is best known as bully Mark Donovan in The Inbetweeners, whilst Ben Batt’s career highlight was probably as the psychopathic Joe on Shameless. He’s on top form here, just as scarily insane as he was on that.
The friendship between the duo is believably handled, with a good bit of banter in the script. As the situation escalated, I found myself actually caring about the two leads.

For a film centred around music, the soundtrack had to be spot on, and for the most part I would say it is. Weekender feels fairly genuine and authentic, and it captures the ‘90’s aesthetic very nicely. Everything from the banging tunes to the costumes and sets fits the period. The finale is quite weak, but all the energy before it makes up.
It’s not near Trainspotting, and just misses out on equalling Human Traffic, but is enjoyable regardless. It reminded me of 24 Hour Party People too, and I love that. It’s rather criminal this didn’t get wider distribution, but I’ll quite happily take on the job of one-man promotion team.

VERDICT; Drugs, music, gangsters, violence, a bit of romance and some more drugs thrown in for good measure. That’s the name of this game. I would reckon those of the generation would probably appreciate it more, on nostalgia value. Though I’m not and still enjoyed it.

I would recommend it to anyone. Get lost in the party.
3.5/5 or 7/10

(For anyone that’s interested in it, the 4.7 rating on IMDb is nonsense. Must be rigged.)

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