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Energetic and imaginative but not easy to warm to
on 18 February 2009
Taking the lead role, co-writing and directing, Peter Howitt obviously has a lot invested in Dangerous Parking but at times it's hard to share his enthusiasm for this stream-of-conciousness trawl through the past-and-present of reformed laddish alcoholic drug addict filmmaker Noah Arkwright as his memories of his out-of-control addictions and rehab are sporadically punctuated by his sober middle class middle age as he tries to break the news that his cancer has returned to his pregnant wife. There's no shortage of energy and imagination - cutaways to his drunken brain or revelling tequila worms in his stomach or angry jumpcuts to his inner thoughts a speciality - but at times it gets so effectively inside his head that it feels like being stuck on the last bus home with that drunk who thinks he's the funniest guy in the world shouting bad jokes in your ear. At others Howitt misjudges just how much vomit and drool the average audience can take in a scene as if daring you to look away or turn over. The latter would be a pity, because irritating and inconsistent as parts of it are there's still more life and audacity here than in most British films even if the performances are as variable as the film itself. Hard to recommend wholeheartedly and equally hard to dismiss, it's certainly not for the weak stomached at times and may be a bit too Laddish for it's own credibility but it's got enough going for it to make it worth a look even if it misses the bullseye.