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Pirates (15)

Cast: Elliot Edusah, Reda Elazouar, Jordan Peters
Genre: Comedy
Author(s): Reggie Yates
Director: Reggie Yates
Release Date: 26/11/2021 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 80mins
Country: UK
Year: 2021

Eighteen-year-old Cappo has been studying in Hull while his London-based best mates Two Tonne and Kidda excitedly promote their group The Ice Cold Crew (The ICC) on pirate radio. Cappo manages the outfit and he nervously returns home at the end of term with a well-rehearsed speech ("Boys, I'm leaving The ICC") and a heaviness in his heart. Before he can deliver the bombshell, Two Tonne, persuades Cappo to help him track down tickets to a New Year's Eve party so he can impress Sophie.


LondonNet Film Review
Pirates (15)

Boys will be boys when they should be men in Reggie Yates’ rambunctious coming-of-age comedy set in London on New Year’s Eve 1999 during the golden years of the UK garage scene and Moschino fashion. The television presenter and radio DJ makes his feature film directorial debut with this self-penned trip down memory lane in the company of three wise-cracking best mates who are scared to acknowledge that the bonds of their brotherhood are fraying as life takes them in different directions. Yates’s script is scrappy, fast-paced and frequently amusing, using the countdown to midnight and a new millennium as a simple plot device to engineer characters’ split-second decisions that predominantly end in wince-inducing humiliation…

His three lead actors, Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters and Reda Elazouar, are well matched, trading playful insults at dizzying speed and feeding off each other’s youthful exuberance as if they have been buddies for years. Their believable on-screen camaraderie is contained within a yellow Peugeot 205 nicknamed the “Custard Cream” for extended periods, a nostalgic production design throwback to an era of flip top phones, Backstreet Boys and the dawning of an internet powerhouse called Google.

“It’s a search thing we use at university,” casually explains 18-year-old Cappo (Edusah), who has been studying in Hull while his London-based best mates Two Tonne (Peters) and Kidda (Elazouar) excitedly promote their group The Ice Cold Crew (The ICC) on pirate radio. Cappo manages the outfit and he nervously returns home at the end of term with a well-rehearsed speech (“Boys, I’m leaving The ICC”) and a heaviness in his heart. Before he can deliver the bombshell, Two Tonne, who works as a manager at a glue factory, persuades Cappo to help him track down tickets to the Twice As Nice NYE Millennium party at the Colosseum nightclub in Vauxhall so he can impress a girl called Sophie (Kassius Nelson).

“She knows all of the lyrics to Gangsta’s Paradise. She’s one of the special ones,” discloses a clearly smitten Two Tonne. Kidda joins the madcap mission, which necessitates nightmarish encounters with Two Tonne’s embittered ex-girlfriend Kelly (Rebekah Murrell) and Princess (Shiloh Coke), who runs the local takeaway. As the clock ticks down to midnight and Y2K, the friends air grievances, shoplift cool togs and discover that mobile phone batteries run out at inopportune moments.

Pirates is an effervescent jaunt around the capital energised by lively performances and a soundtrack that swaggers from So Solid Crew, Wookie and DJ Luck & MC Neat to Simply Red and Omar. At just 79 minutes, Yates’s picture doesn’t outstay its welcome and the script hits pleasing emotion beats between the bromantic comedy.

– Sarah Lee


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