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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2007
Somewhere between the cheery comedic teen angst of a Brat Pack movie and the stylishly dingy, drug-ravaged night life of "Trainspotting," you'll find the fresh-faced, fun-loving, Ecstasy-dropping, Welsh weekend warriors that populate the party-hardy world of "Human Traffic."

A capricious and energetic, rave-flavored tour through a bouncy Friday-Saturday-Sunday of dance and romance in the lives of five club-hopping pals on the cusp of their 20s, this lightweight snapshot of edgy Y2K youth culture has nothing new to say about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- but it says that nothing with irresistibly enthusiastic effervescence.

The story is narrated with hyperactive chirp by Jip (John Simms), a soft-featured Tim Roth look-alike who blows off steam from his weekdays in retail hell by getting squiffy with his mates and dancing the night away.

His entourage includes his best gal pal Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington), a tangy "full-on club minx" with a mane of out-of-control curls and a secret jones for Jip; aimless stoner Moff (Danny Dyer); African-Anglo Koop (Shaun Parkes), a spastic record store DJ with a jealous streak; and Koop's flirty girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds), who bolts from her McJob in a fantasy-embellished early scene that sets the movie's anti-establishment mood.

Written and directed by 25-year-old Justin Kerrigan, a recent Welsh film school grad who has won a handful of festival awards, "Human Traffic" accompanies this group from their day jobs (hate them!) through their club-hopping nights in a style that apes from a dozen sources (notably, "Trainspotting" and early MTV) without feeling unoriginal.

The plot is simple stuff -- each character has some banal comedic conflict (Jip is experiencing sexual performance problems, Lulu is convinced she's a schmuck magnet, etc.) easily resolved through their memorable weekend of youthful excess (ecstasy is unabashedly endorsed). But that hardly matters because "Human Traffic" isn't about story, per se. It's about capturing that all-too-brief moment of devil-may-care lifestyle that people remember forever as the best time of their lives.
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on 2 April 2000
This movie is an excellent portrayal of the rave and club sub cultures that have sprung up around the globe in the last decade or so. It's an insightful show of how people deal with the drugs, the parties and the general life.

If you liked GO! and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas you'll LOVE Human Traffic. This movie will leave a huge grin on your face and have you chuckling for a long, long time!

For all the E fiends as myself this is the flick to check! Nice one BRUVVA! i said nice one!
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on 28 August 2007
I think everyone should watch Human Traffic at least once. Although I don't know of many people who don't watch it over and over again and are able to quote the script word for word.

This is the flip side to the political view of drugs culture. Human Traffic shows a pretty average weekend in the lives of people who like to pop pills and party hard after a crappy week at work. It's funny, it's touching and if you've ever partied without the need for legal drugs then you'll find lots to identify with.

What the politicians don't tell you is that it's the world that they've created that makes this form of escapism so necessary. But don't get me started on that one ...

My advice ... stick this in the dvd player, skin up and enjoy.
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on 6 October 2006
Many films over the years have approached the task of a realistic interpretation of the causes and effects of drug use on youth culture. Most have handled the subject as being a singular form of escape from a monotonous lifestyle, or as a '1 off' experiment that snowballs into dependency. However, few have given such a realistic and accurate snapshot of how a whole generation formed a unique togetherness, until the wonderfully crafted 'Human Traffic' that is.

A key element to the films subject matter is one that the tabloid press have devoted endless headlines to and demonised the use of. That is, the use of 'Ecstasy', a drug which has developed a close bond with the dance music scene since the mid 90's.

Produced by Justin Kerrigan, the film follows 5 friends on a typical weekend out in Cardiff, though the setting could be any town or city in the country. The sense of build up to the up comming night out is portrayed in manner that will be instantly recognised to many.... but will hit a note more directly to those who have experienced similar euphoric feelings!

The cast assembled by Kerrigan give a true realism that comes with an understanding of the factors that acompany the dance music scene. So much so that the film could never have worked with actors who hadn't experienced first hand the highs - and lows - of a sub-culture that has been felt by a whole generation and beyond.

John Simm, Danny Dyer and Co., with the help of a soundtrack that makes the spine tingle, combine to produce a masterpiece of cinematography which neither glorifies nor condemns the use of any drug, regardless of classification.

Society will always have drugs and have those prepared to 'experiment'. Therefore, it can be viewed that a film such as 'Human Traffic' is truly NEEDED in the absence of any documentary type explanations on the subject. For those who do choose to experiment regardless, the un-biased storyline goes some way to advise on responsible 'social' drug use, rather than purely showing the effects.

But for the vast majority of us that left the drugs behind as we grew older, the film offers something that is far from a slippery road to drug dependency.

It quite simply shows a moment in time that will be remembered fondly by those who experienced it.
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on 1 April 2000
This film does not waste time by disscusiing the issues related to drugs but tells a basically simple story of 5 ordinary people going out for a blinder of a weekend. This is a film we can all relate to as we have all been there. This simple but brilliant film is a film you must watch before you go out as it will simply build up your excitement and it will make you laugh till you cry. It is a must buy
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2010
Films that vividly capture a time and place are exceptionally rare. Couple this with films that stand the test of time, and you are talking only a handful of films.
Having seen this film 5 times over a decade, I can honestly say it does both and should be considered the last great film of the 20th Century (and the best film to come out of Britain in the late 90's).

Covering a weekend with 4 young Welsh clubbers, this film has often been compared to Go as it is one of those movies about having fun that steers well clear of cheesiness and pretensiousness & instead still seems to define the British club scene. No other film you will find (with the possible exception of 24 Hour Party People) better captures what a night or weekend clubbing is like & the soundtrack is up there with the very best.

Onto the plot. The plot is fairly simple, but explores some interesting themes.
Firstly we have Jip & his problems with 'Mr Floppy' (use your imagination with this one!)
Then there is Koop, who is also sexually paranoid, but in the different sense of being over-protective of his flirtatious girlfriend.
Next there is Lulu, who constantly goes out with cheating partners & Nina (girlfriend of Koop) and harassed by her boss at work.
Lastly there is Moff (played by the Danny Dyer in one of his best performances) who is by far the most memorable character of the film, being as he is one of those people who exist in every group of friends - the alienated, fun-loving wastrel.

The Five decide to go out in Cardiff for a weekend of 'pubs, clubs, drugs and parties', in which drug culture, alienation & the dark side of relationships are explored in depth. Coupled with this, there is also the lighter side, with Love, laughter & youth creating some of the best, most iconoclastic scenes that you will see in any movie.

If you ever need popular culture references concerning the various odd things that can occur on a night out, this is the first place to come.
As an example, there is the 'spliff politics' scene, in which Howard Marks narrates a scene where a spliff is being shared round the room & each charactor is trying their best to gain the attention of the man with spliff so that they'll be passed it next.
There is also an interesting scene of two older clubbers discussing how 'the scene isn't what it used to be' and how everyone isn't as open & friendly as it was 'in the good old days' (before they react in a highly unfriendly manner to a stranger who sits down next to them!)

Anyhow, I could continue for hours telling you how fantastic this film is but I'm guessing (if you've seen this film before) it will be known to you and (if you haven't seen it) then long descriptions won't persuade you.
What I will say is this: if you want a film that always provides you with new & interesting insights into popular culture & why people still 'rave' about 90's dance (pardon the pun), then there is no better film than this to try.
And if you've really seen your fill of this film, then I can only recommend the soundtrack (Human Traffic Ost) & that you see either the two films above or two other contemporary classics in the form of Late Night Shopping and East Is East.

Is the club scene dead? Not as long as films like this survive...

P.S. An interesting Gambit for fans, but apparently the Cocaine used in the 'Normal Doctor' scene is the real deal.
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on 10 April 2006
I decided to buy this as I've worn the old VHS copy out. Plus, I'm a sucker for 'remixes!' There are a few extra scenes and some of the music has been updated in the club. There are also one or two scenes that have been cut. Moff visits his dealer for one.
Not much in the way of features. A 'making of' documentary, a couple of short films from his student days & some more deleted scenes. My favourite is the car journey. Its only trivial, but they are driving along and the tape jams in the cassette player. A total, chemically induced, over the top reaction follows, threatening the interruption of the buzz! Only one thing you can do in that situation.. Sing up! It might be lost on some people but others will know what I mean. Its this attention to detail that makes the film special.
I'm totally convinced that Justin Kerrigan was part of the scene, as you don't get such close parallels without living it for real. If anything the acting is a little too good, right down to the dilated pupils. I think the cast really did their homework on this. In fact may still have been doing it whilst filming... Only kidding ;)
Energetic first half, with a blinding soundtrack. System F - Out of the Blue, remains my favourite dance track of all time. A slower more uncomfortable feel to the second half, maybe to balance the equation, albeit light-heartedly & show us that ecstasy isn't all empathy n skittles.
I think it's a pretty fine debut from Kerrigan, who clearly put a lot of effort into this. It makes me a little sad when I hear stories about it being locked in distribution battles & burning him out before he's even begun. Maybe that's why we haven't heard anything from him since? Shame, as he clearly has talent.
We risk sanity
for moments of temporary enlightenment.
So many ideas, so little memory.
The last thought
killed by the anticipation of the next.
We embrace an overwhelming feeling
of love. We flow in unison.
We're together.
I wish this was real
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on 20 June 2000
"The weekend has landed. All that exists now is clubs, drugs, pubs and parties. I've got 48 hours off from the world, man. I'm gonna blow steam outa my head like a screaming kettle and talk codshit to strangers all night. I'm gonna lose the plot on the dance floor; the free radicals inside me are freaking man! Tonight I'm Jip Travolta, I'm Peter Popper - I'm going to Never Never Land with my chosen family man. We're gonna get more spaced out than Neil Armstrong ever did. Anything could happen tonight ya know! This could be the best night of my life! I've 73 quid in my back burner, I'm gonna wax the lot, the Milky Bars are on. Yeah!" So exclaims Jip, one of five central characters of the films that accurately and comprehensively sums up club life in Britain throughout the Nineties. This is the real deal, charting as it controversially does (for some people), the use of Ecstasy, Cocaine and a good few spliffs as merely components of a blinding weekend's partying! Forget the likes of the squeaky clean, "nice" images of Britain as portrayed by the likes of "Four Weddings" or "Notting Hill" - these are real club people and this is what it's like. Thanks to Radio One's Pete Tong acting as musical advisor even the soundtrack is bang on the button and features contributions from Orbital, Fat Boy Slim, Carl Cox, Underworld, and Armand Van Helden amongst others. Dead accurate and scorchingly hilarious much of the time, this is an absolutely essential ninety minutes of era-charting brilliance delivered with aplomb by a cast of virtually unknown actors. Totally recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 August 2012
1998's 'Human Traffic' is a laugh-a-minute British film, which takes a comical, but very accurate view of the British club scene and youth culture. The movie focuses on five young people in their early twenties, who live for the weekend so they can drink and take drugs. A very simple plot (if you are able to call it that), but this is a portrait of the 1990s, and a film that you can easily watch again and again. All of the characters are likeable and it is easy to identify with at least one of them.

With an all-star British cast, including a young Danny Dyer in his first movie appearance, and John Simm who is particularly good. 'Human Traffic' is an excellent feel-good film, complete with a perfect soundtrack of electric tunes, if you are able to remember the 1990s, you will love this. Grab a few drinks, a packet of smokes, maybe a group of mates, and enjoy it.

If you're really keen, then buy the Human Traffic Remixed [DVD] [1999] version instead, where you'll get the original film, plus a whopping 80 minutes of bonus features, including deleted scenes, two short films, and an extensive making-off featurette.
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on 12 August 2003
Having not seen the 'Non Special Edition' of this film, I don't know what they've done to it to make it 'Special' but it certainly did it for me.
The music has you out of your seat and in your own virtual club whilst the characters (who are so different from each other in their background culture but are brought to the same level by E's and their love of music) make you want to join them in the film.
I actually watched this film twice in one night because of the music and now I'm awaiting the soundtrack CD, which i hope won't disappoint me..
Quite simply, buy this film for the music, buy it for the culture and buy it for the sheer enjoyment it will provide you with.
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