Weekender (2 stars)


Brazenly shallow ode to the do-it-yourself 90s rave scene

(15) 89min

The do-it-yourself rave explosion in ‘90s Manchester is a moment of recent history ripe with storytelling potential – Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People demonstrated that wonderfully – but Weekender, Karl Golden’s brazenly shallow ode to the scene, offers less insight than a homemade video of a great night out. It’s the story of best mates Dylan (Jack O’Connell) and Matt (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), who start putting on club nights and are drawn into a world of great success and, once big-city drug dealers get wind of them, great danger. It’s a solid set-up, but Golden and writer Chris Coghill toss aside the moral, political and social issues inherent in the subject matter in favour of taking an hour and a half to say ‘remember the 90s? They were brilliant!’

Pelican Blood director Golden’s attempts at style – essentially using Dutch angles in every other scene – fail to distract from the script’s complete lack of tension, with every potentially dramatic plot turn clearly signposted, and a concluding piece of illogical storytelling that even Guy Ritchie would have reservations about committing to film. Thank the party gods then for Henry Lloyd-Hughes, whose excellent lead performance saves Weekender from being completely unwatchable.

General release from Fri 2 Sep.

Weekender Trailer


  • 2 stars
  • 2011
  • UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Karl Golden
  • Cast: Zawe Ashton, Emily Barclay, Sam Hazeldine

A brazenly shallow ode to the 90s rave scene in Manchester, dealing with the story of two best mates who set out in the world of club promotion only to find themselves drawn into danger and the sights of some big-city drug dealers. It's a decent set-up but unfortunately the script suffers from a complete lack of tension…

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