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Pirate Radio / The Boat That Rocked (2009)

August 27, 2009

6/10 Sweet Gigs

Watched this on a plane last week at the suggestion of a Cut The Crap reader. Not sure that it’s even out in America yet, but if you can find it, or if you live in England, I’d say it’s an enjoyable way to pass two hours.

Pirate Radio is kind of all over the place. It’s set in 1960s England during a time where the mofos in power hated rock and pop music so much that they only allowed it to be played on major radio stations for 45 minutes a day. So this is the story of one group of guys on a pirate radio ship that decided to stick it to the man and play rock and pop all the fuckin’ time. It’s also about an eighteen-year-old kid whose mom sends him over to the boat to grow up. And it’s also just about the deejays on the boat…hanging out with each other and stuff.

It kind of sounds like there’s a lot going on at once, but after a while you realize that’s it’s actually not really about anything at all. It doesn’t take long for the story to completely fall to the wayside in lieu of watching the deejays get into new shenanigans and whatnot for extended periods of time. At some points it works, but for the most part it just feels like an entertaining mess. Kind of the same vibe I got from director Richard Curtis’ last movie, Love Actually. Please don’t kill me for that comment, ladies.

I don’t know, I think a better synopsis for this movie probably would have been, “Let’s watch a shit load of famous British actors and one American make jokes and listen to sweet music on a boat for two hours.” Yeah, that’s definitely better.

So that’s kind of a good thing and a bad thing. Everyone’s fun to watch, but you don’t really care about them because there’s so many damn characters to cover, the script isn’t really striving to develop any of them all that much either, and the story’s interesting at best. But as a movie you can just sit back, enjoy, and veg out on without having to get emotionally invested whatsoever, it works.

And all the actors are pretty damn funny, so that’s a perk. Takes a bit to understand the British accents, but whatever, you get used to it.  Shout-out in particular to Rhys Darby (Murray Hewitt from Flight of the Conchords, the funniest character on an already hilarious show) as the awkward deejay who no one else really likes. That guy needs his own movie/sitcom.

I doubt I’d go back and watch this again unless I was forced to in a Clockwork Orange-type fashion, but it was good for what it was. Enjoyable, but alas, forgettable. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong, this movie seemed to be the biggest damn thing to hit England since Hugh Grant. That dude is a God over there.


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