Pirates review – Reggie Yates’s cheerful tale of friends off to a new millennium | Movies

Here is a likable and easygoing comedy from actor turned film-maker Reggie Yates. It’s a period piece set on New Year’s Eve 1999, featuring flip phones and someone frowning over a copy of the London A-Z, muttering how good it would be if someone invented a navigation screen like the ones planes have. It’s also a playful homage to the one-crazy-night ensemble pictures of the 90s (although Yates avoids the freezeframe-voiceover character introductions that became a key cliche of Britfilm around that time), and there’s a clubbing theme that recalls Justin Kerrigan’s Human Traffic, which came out in 1999.

Three lads from London are preparing to enjoy themselves: Cappo (Elliot Edusah), Two Tonne (Jordan Peters) and Kidda (Reda Elzaouar); they’ve actually set up their own pirate radio station which has become successful enough to get them into clubs to play sets. But there’s a problem. Cappo has just started university, and he has plans to get away and see the world and do other things with his life. Meanwhile, Two Tonne has to find a way of impressing Sophie (Kassius Nelson) on whom he has a major crush. And all the while they have to figure out a way of getting into a certain club on the other side of the Thames for the millennial night of their lives.

There are some nice lines: I liked the lads’ pedantic row with Princess (Shiloh Coke) about the correct way to pronounce “plantain”. The film pinballs cheerfully about the place, from crisis to crisis, from losing the tickets to getting back the tickets, with no great narrative purpose other than fun.

Pirates is released on 26 November in cinemas.

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