Picks and Pans Review: Human Traffic

updated 05/22/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/22/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

John Simm, Lorraine Pilkington

Like 1996's Trainspotting, this comedy about club kids drugging the weekend away in Cardiff, Wales, isn't really about substance abuse. It's about youth's explosion of energy and exuberance—and the searching for an outlet, no matter how hellish. But Traffic overdoses on cuteness. Its narrator, Jip (Simm), keeps thrusting his close-cropped head at the camera, grinning and yammering on like some hopped-up sock puppet. I hated him.

Writer-director Justin Kerrigan, who's only 25, creates one brilliant montage: The kids, freed from workaday reality by hits of Ecstasy, drift in a whitish haze, their gazes as blissfully blank as that of the 2001 fetus. Other than that, Kerrigan owes his entire generation an apology. (R)

Bottom Line: Agony, not ecstasy

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