4 out of 10
Release Date: 2nd September 2011
Director: Karl Golden
Cast: Jack O’Connell, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Emily Barclay, Ben Batt, Tom Meeten, Stephen Wight, Iain McKee, Reuben Johnson, Sam Hazeldine and Zawe Ashton
Writer: Chris Coghill
Weekender has got a brilliant soundtrack and that’s a brilliant plus if early house music is your thing. Impressively it’s a film about the music scene is actually period specific and the makers have done some research. Either that or they had flashbacks to their own memories of which particular 12″s moved the floor. The warehouses look authentic and the whole production design gives Weekender a much needed boost of credibility. The layouts and the manner in which the gates are marshalled are all as they were, the decor is spot on. Credit is due to those involved behind the scenes. They really show this up to be a labour of love. It’s a minor tragedy then that these same period attentive guys didn’t get a grab of the script as they would have drawn red circles around so much of the dialogue. It’s unfortunate, as the characters keep using modern slang or phrases that have come along since the birth of rave. Exclamations like “Whassssup!”, “Whatever”, “You feel me?” etc litter the dialogue. This is a shame because Weekender could have been an authentic experience. Production values demonstrate that it’s not a half cocked cash-in throughout, so why f*ck up the script?
Here’s the plot: Two chancers; Matt (HENRY LLOYD HUGHES – THE INBETWEENERS) and Dylan???? (JACK O’CONNELL – TOWER BLOCK) are two divs on the hustle. They happen upon a ‘make-cash-quick’ scheme by putting on a rave of their own with some of their fellow stoners. Tracking down the elusive king of the turntables,Captain Acid (TOM MEETEN – BURKE AND HARE) to headline they begin to make some serious paper. As these things go, running battles with the police hamper their rise to stardom but until John The Rat (BEN BATT – SHAMELESS) turns up, it’s all fairly predictable. Intimidating the life out of the boys they see their ready made cash cow get commandeered by the local scum bag. Friends split up, girlfriends pack their bags, people get high on their own supply. It’s all here. It’s energetically played and beyond the crap script this could have been the next 24 Hour Party People. Instead it’s just a goofy pretender to the throne.
The trouble with Weekender is that it’s not quite authentic enough for those that were there and yet it’s not quite hip or cool enough to appeal to today’s youthful club goers. So therefore it renders most of the exercise naff and stale. Jack O’Connell and crew are watchable enough but I was never convinced that they really felt the music in the film. These guys were born the year the events onscreen happened funnily enough.
4 out of 10 – A nice try at capturing an important period in club land. A modern script undoes some great work by the soundtrack compilers and the set designers. Almost authentic. Predictable to a fault as well.
See Joe ‘what’s a disco biscuit then?” Pesci II’s review below…
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Jack O’Connell: Tulip Fever, Unbroken, ’71, Starred Up, 300 – part II, The Liability, Private Peaceful, Tower Block, Harry Brown, Eden Lake, This Is England, Skins (TV)
- Henry Lloyd-Hughes: Hello Carter, Inbetweeners Movie, The Inbetweeners (TV), Unrelated, Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire
- Emily Barclay: The Legend Of The Guardians – The Owls Of Ga’Hoole (voice), Suburban Mayhem, In My Father’s Den
- Ben Batt: Despite The Falling Snow, Electricity, The Village (TV), Shameless (TV)
- Tom Meeten: Paddington, Burke and Hare
- Stephen Wight: Ashes, Wilderness
- Sam Hazeldine: The Mechanic 2, Grimsby, ’71, The Machine (2014), The Monuments Men, Dead Mine, The Raven, Don’t Let Him In
- Zawe Ashton: Dreams of a Life, Blitz