It’s 1999, and three friends, Cappo (Elliot Edusah), Two Tonne (Jordan Peters), and Kidda (Reda Elazouar), are trying to get their music careers up and running through pirate radio. However, their focus on New Year’s Eve is to drive through London in search of tickets to the best party of the millennium. Remember, Y2K is supposed to happen, and many believed there would be a technological apocalypse, so if there was going to be a party, it would be a big one. En voyage, they get in trouble with exes, confront past incidents, and gear up for the event.
Overall, it’s a nice hangout movie that’s elevated by the charismatic performances of the young trio. It loses steam after the second act, making the third drag completely. It follows the same formulaic beats of a hangout flick. Still, you go with it because it is sort of charming as you get to know the characters better. Yates’ script makes the conversations between the young guns feel humanistic and grounded, even though the events occurring are not as such. It ends as you expect and brings on a lovely message of loving where you are from. Embracing your place of birth instead of figuring out a method to escape it.
Nonetheless, the impact of said ending is lost along the way because it meanders through similar situations time and time again even though it is only eighty minutes long. There is a way in which Pirates could have been the British on-the-verge-of-the-2000s version of The Last Days of Disco (in this case, instead of disco, it could have been R&B or Britpop). But Yates is no Stillman, and its dramatic sequences lack the necessary punch. It rides the line between serious and laid-back, which works during the discussions, but not anywhere else.