blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Human Traffic (1999, Justin Kerrigan)

Shaun Parkes and John Simm star in HUMAN TRAFFIC, directed by Justin Kerrigan for Metrodome Distribution.

I mustn’t be the right audience for Human Traffic, seeing as how the only thing I found slightly amusing was The Terminator reference.

I can’t remember why I had interest in seeing it–maybe because it came up when I was looking up Bill Hicks–and I do like John Simm.

The problem with the film is the lack of competency. It’s cheap, sure, but it plays like a sketch comedy. I’ve never seen a film more in need of a laugh track. Maybe it has a laugh track, I can’t even remember.

Kerrigan’s direction doesn’t do the actors any favors. Simm does all right, just because he’s so good (but he also gets some of the better shots). Both Lorraine Pilkington and Shaun Parkes suffer from the bad composition. Patrick Moore’s editing doesn’t help either. There seems to be a lack of coverage, but maybe not. Kerrigan’s going for a highly affected cinéma vérité without considering the damages of such affectations.

Near as I can tell, it’s a film loved by some and ignored by everyone else. It’s got an interesting story in the recutting for American audiences (Miramax dumbed down the Britishness), but an interesting foreign distribution story does not a good film make.

Kerrigan’s intentions are all obvious. It’s like no one told him he could be discreet or subtle. It’s almost worth watching for Simm’s performance–Parkes isn’t bad either–but it’s got so much nonsense, from the first scene, it’s really not.

Plus, it’s boring.



Written and directed by Justin Kerrigan; director of photography, Dave Bennett; edited by Patrick Moore; music by Matthew Herbert and Roberto Mello; production designer, David Buckingham; produced by Emer McCourt and Allan Niblo; released by Metrodome Distribution.

Starring John Simm (Jip), Lorraine Pilkington (Lulu), Shaun Parkes (Koop), Nicola Reynolds (Nina), Danny Dyer (Moff) and Dean Davies (Lee).


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