GFF 2012: Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy

Film Review by | 19 Feb 2012
  • Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy
Film title: Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy
Director: Rob Heydon
Starring: Adam Sinclair, Kristin Kreuk, Billy Boyd, Carlo Rota
Release date: 20 Apr
Certificate: TBC

Rob Heydon’s adaptation of The Undefeated, one of three novellas in Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance, clearly has affection for the source material and the cinematic subgenre it reflects, which is probably why it’s so terrible. Crass, derivative and horribly dated, had this appeared among the slurry of late-90s club-culture flicks it would have been bad, but 13 years after Human Traffic it’s unforgivable.

Following party-boy Lloyd (Adam Sinclair) as he smuggles MDMA from Amsterdam for mid-level gangster Solo and falls for straight-laced Heather, Heydon’s film is so infused with visual and script-level cliché one starts to wonder whether it’s pastiche. Do you like speeded-up, intercut establishing shots? Characters introduced in freeze-frame with names emblazoned on-screen? Tin-pot philosophising, pill-addled voiceover? You’re covered. This is a work comprised of bits of other films that weren’t very good in the first place, inconsistent in tone with some laughable attempts at depth, where nothing makes sense and any nostalgic fun is shattered by insincere dialogue, jarring performances and inept direction.

Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy screens 18 Feb and 19 Feb as part of Glasgow Film Festival 2012