Director: Bernard Rose
Writer: Bernard Rose
Based on: Howard Marks‘ autobiography
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny, David Thewlis, Crispin Glover, Jack Huston
Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) is a Welsh small-town nerd who manages to get into Oxford university. But as soon as he hits the big city, he quickly gets tangled up in drugs. And since he doesn’t really do things half-assed, he is not content in smoking pot, but he starts his own successful drug business as Mr. Nice, together with IRA member Jim McCann (David Thewlis). But there’s only so many drugs a person can sell until the police will get involved.
I have to admit that I didn’t really research this film before going in. I just saw the cast and thought that I wanted to see it. If I had known more about it, I might have been better prepared. But I don’t think that I would have enjoyed the 60s-drug-dealer-romanticism any more had I known that it was coming.
While Rhys Ifans was very good – in fact, the movie hits its best moments when Howard interacts with his kids – but that he also played the 16-year-old Marks was all kinds of weird. And not in a good way. He’s a good-looking guy, but he doesn’t look anywhere close to 20ish.
David Thewlis, Crispin Glover and Chloë Sevigny were good, too. Especially Thewlis and Glover were very funny.
There were green screen scenes where they pasted Howard into original footage from the 60s (just walking across the street etc), which was at the same time pretty awesome and made the movie seem incredibly trashy.
In any case I’m definitely not the target audience for these drug movies. They mostly bore me and this one definitely had its lengths. It did have its moments and with a bit more conciseness and a little less nostalgia it could have been pretty good.
Summarising: It didn’t work for me.