Where were you at the end of the last millennium?

Neil Smith

15 Nov 21

Reggie Yates

Release Date
26 November

Elliot Edusah, Reda Elazouar, Jordan Peters, Youssef Kerkour, Kassius Nelson


Running Time
80 mins

If you are 25 and above, you can probably recall where you were, what you were doing and whom you were with when the clock struck 12, 1999 ended, and what was the 20th century became the 21st. In Pirates, the debut feature from Reggie Yates, three teenage friends are on a mission to make sure their Millennium Eve is one they'll also remember for the rest of their lives. The result is a laugh-out-loud comedy that will transport you back to that most memorable of evenings, even if you were not actually able to be there yourself.

Chums since childhood, Cappo (Elliot Edusah), Two Tonne (Jordan Peters) and Kid (Reda Elazouar) now make up the Ice Cold Crew, an underground collective who broadcast music to their north London hood on their own pirate radio station. (They are, as one proudly declares, "famous in a two-mile radius".) Now that Cappo has left to go to university, though, the ties that bind them are not as tight as they used to be – making it all the more imperative that they secure much-sought-after tickets to what is guaranteed to be the greatest Y2K party ever.

With few contacts, next to no money and just a ramshackle yellow Peugeot for transport, their chances of getting into "Twice As Nice" are close to zero. Over the course of 12 hectic hours, however, this resourceful trio hatch a daring plan that will have them see in the new year at the city's most happening nightspot, with a beautiful lady on Two Tonne's arm and the trendiest Moschino "garms" draped around their shoulders. What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot, to be honest.

If you've ever had a friend, fallen out with one or had a crazy adventure with them, you are sure to have a ball watching a film that not only has a stunning cast of dazzling new talents but also boasts a brilliant soundtrack that's full to the brim with vintage garage bangers. With tracks by So Solid Crew, Ms Dynamite and a host of other iconic artists, the music is very much the heartbeat of a film that will be relished not only by those who lived through the period but also by everyone who has embraced UK garage's recent resurgence.

Even if you're not au fait with the genre, you will surely enjoy a homegrown British comedy whose coming-of-age story travels far beyond its vibrant urban setting. Inspired by his upbringing on the sometimes mean streets of north London, Yates also drew on Mathieu Kassovitz's 1995 classic La Haine to create a portrait of a stylish, multicultural capital that, while containing its fair share of law-flouting hi-jinks, refreshingly steers clear of the usual crime and violence clichés. At a point when the '90s are experiencing a renewed popularity, there can surely be no better opportunity to savour once more that epochal decade's culture, sounds and fashions.

Now is your chance, then, to take a trip back to a time when Tamagotchis were cool, flip-top phones were in and Google was just a word with two Gs and Os in it. Along the way, you'll make three hilarious new friends, whose "Custard Cream" motor could just become the latest must-have four-wheeled accessory.   Neil Smith

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