Cert 18 101mins Stars 3
Experience the thrill of an illegal warehouse rave in this sincere if slight Scottish coming-of-age drug-taking drama whose energy is driven by the irresistible tunes of 1990’s dance music.
To mark the forced end of their close friendship, a pair of teens abscond with a fistful of stolen cash to an all night party where various family conflicts are brought to a head.
Lorn Macdonald gives a wonderful uptempo comic performance as Spanner, though Cristian Ortega’s Johnno is a sullen, slouching and too much of a passive observer whose one decisive moment feels forced.
Filming mostly in black and white drains the period of vibrancy, however colour is used to communicate the intensity of experiencing ecstasy, and the sweaty drug-fuelled ambience of the 1990’s club culture is convincingly recreated. The soundtrack is exceptional.
Beats is a nostalgic companion to 1999’s superior Human Traffic which starred John Simm and Danny Dyer, while to compare this to Danny Boyle’s masterpiece, Trainspotting, would be an unfair for all concerned.