Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (18)
Dir. Rob Heyden
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Can it really be fifteen years since the awesome Trainspotting put Scotland and drugs on the big screen in a smart, funny and engaging masterpiece based on the ground-breaking novel by Irvine Welsh.
Welsh followed up Trainspotting with a load of similar styled (but not as good) novels which included Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance in 1996. Ecstasy tried hard to be a ‘Trainspotting for the E generation’ and now we have the cinematic adaptation of one of its short stories - The Undefeated…
‘Don’t do drugs’ is the message of a generation and Welsh has fun digs at the oppressive government’s happiness crushing policy but it all feels a bit ‘been there and seen this before.’
"pink hair vs schoolgirl club stereotype outfits"
Anyway, meet Lloyd (Adam ‘Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj’ Sinclair) – he’s pushing 30 and living for the weekend. His job is drug smuggling E’s from Amsterdam for a dodgy club boss Solo (Carlo ‘Saw V’ Rota), his life mostly a blur of drugged up happiness. But despite the drugs, music and frantic sex with younger women – pick of the bunch being gorgeous newcomer Olivia Andrup as party girl Hazel – Lloyd’s life is shallow and unfulfilling.
Everything changes when he meets and falls for classy Canadian Heather (Kristin ‘Chuck’ Kreuk), she’s trapped in rubbish marriage to a pig headed loser and quite likes the novelty of the club scene. Is there love in the offing or will the drugs get in the way?
I remember reading the novel when it came out and being a little disappointed – alas that’s exactly how I felt about the film version too. Director Rob Heydon plods through Welsh's material in a worryingly pedestrian style. It’s easy to spot what’s coming next just by noticing who gets introduced at the start…
"it's all in the eyes..."
The club scenes are probably the highlights with some great tunes from the likes of Orbital and Primal Scream but you can take so many shots of people jumping around pretending to be off their nuts before you just get a bit bored.
So the wait for a really decent follow up to Trainspotting based on Welsh’s novels continues but there is a growing buzz around ‘Filth’ which hits soon so maybe just maybe.
Overall Ecstasy is a trip you don’t need to take, it begins with a mild high but soon the rush wears off and all you’re left with is regret at having wasted your cash and a headache.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
2 – The drugs don't work... very well!?
Awesomeness öö – the fast forward sex scene
Laughs öö – occasional smile raised
Horror ööö – a very grim drug overdose is par for the course
Babes ööö – Andrup looks great
Spiritual Enlightenment ö – just say 'no'