“Pirates” gives 90s kids a chance to take a stroll down memory lane. Writer / director Reggie Yates captures the era with complete accuracy, and the film feels embodies an authentic nostalgia of what it was like to live on the cusp of the new millennium.
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1999. Three best friends (Elliot Edusah, Jordan Peters, and Reda Elazouar) drive around London, crammed in their small Peugeot and blasting garage music from the radio. It’s a typical evening for the trio of 18-year-olds trying to hold on to the lives and relationships they have before they take the next leap into adulthood and responsibilities. They want to send off the century with a wild night, so they go in search of tickets to the wildest party ever to take place. The guys have no real destination in mind, but it’s a one night journey that will bring them closer together.
It’s a familiar story, but there’s something electric here that feels different. Yates excels at crafting a film with a nostalgic aura and a feeling of what it was like to be young, especially in an age before music streaming and iPhones. There are lots of 90s references thrown in with a wink-and-a-nod to those of us who lived it, and the lighthearted part of the story are the most successful.
The trio of lead actors are ridiculously likeable and relatable, and they are three young men you’ll want to spend more time with. They play well off each other, and it’s easy to believe they are actually best friends. That’s a key component to a buddy comedy, and this film couldn’t be more perfectly cast.
“Pirates” stumbles a bit as it heads across the finish line, but this is a well-made, enjoyable story of friendship and growing up.