Cinema on Drugs
Human Traffic
Review by Ross Anthony

Wow, what to say? If you liked "Clerks" or are deep into the "rave" culture you'll no doubt enjoy this wacky drugged out piece of video-cinema.

Unfortunately, the majority of the movie-going population may think otherwise. Heavy on the "F" word, focusing on illegal drug consumption and expressed in a thick hyperactive and Welsh/British tongue; "Human Traffic" nonetheless keeps an uncaring chin up, proud as it is paranoid.

Subject matter aside, the production is a drain trap, catching all the social and philosophic ramblings of some excitable young UK talent, high, coming down, and otherwise never at a loss for words.

Almost entirely character driven, there is a faint attempt to make a plot out of getting an extra ticket so that this motley group of starburst mates can hit the hottest dance/drug club in all of Cardiff. Oh, and another smaller tension created by two best friends of opposite sex wondering if there's more to their relationship.

Besides, the occasional ecstasy-inspired gems that spew from these nervous pals; the look and feel of the production rattles with a juicy eye for the screen. Though, sometimes overdone and/or mis-edited, writer/director Justin Kerrigan interjects visuals that picturize what his characters are merely conceptualizing. It's a tactic that David E. Kelley does so well with "Ally McBeal." Overall, it's energy laden, cleanly-cut and looks good, and (like Kevin Smith of "Clerks" that later did "Dogma") full of future picture promise.

Watching stoned people swear is not my idea of a good time, but I did enjoy the production techniques and the minor relationships between these main characters and their parents.

In one scene, Muff's father chases him out of the house yelling about getting a job or something. The camera follows the two as they tear down the steps, Muff rants on how everyone he knows that has a job hates it and that he's just "not ready yet to be miserable."

  • Human Traffic. Copyright © 2000.
  • Starring John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington, Shaun Parkes, Nicola Reynolds, Danny Dyer, Andrew Lincoln, Carl Cox, Howard Marks.
  • Written and Directed by Justin Kerrigan.
  • Produced by Allan Niblo, Emer McCourt at Fruit Salad LTD/Miramax release.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:09:12 PDT