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Review: Pirate Radio

Richard Curtis’s boat rocks
By MIKE MILIARD  |  November 16, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

Rakish, cravat-clad Quentin (Bill Nighy) runs the ship, presiding over DJs like Dave (Nick Frost), a leering, Falstaffian lump who nonetheless has a magnetic attraction for the fair sex, Gavin (Rhys Ifans), a charismatic, Savile Row–sharp sex god, “Thick Kevin” (Tom Brooke), who’s prone to gnomic quips and pratfalls, geeky hydrophobe Angus (Rhys Darby), and acid-damaged Bob, a/k/a “The Dawn Treader” (Ralph Brown, harking back to his role as Danny, the frizz-haired drug dealer in 1987’s Withnail and I). Then there’s Philip Seymour Hoffman as the bearded, bombastic American expat “The Count,” who offers a soliloquy as he prepares to be the first man to say “fuck” over the English airwaves. In a mocking nod to the fusty BBC’s mandate, the Count explains that his provocation is meant “not to offend, but to entertain. Also to educate, perhaps.” In Pirate Radio — even if the facts are sexed up — Curtis and (especially) his cast do both.

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