Like Danny Boyle`s Trainspotting, Ecstasy is set in Edinburgh and centres on a protagonist whose life is intrinsically entwined with drugs. Instead of Renton and his gang of ne`er-do-wells, this time we have Lloyd (Sinclair), a guy who works as a drug mule for a local gangster, and has an equal penchant for introductory voiceovers, digging for drugs in his own excrement, and getting into all sorts of trouble.
This time though, redemption comes in the form of love interest Heather (Kreuk), and the drug is ecstasy instead of heroin. Superficial differences aside, it feels as if Heydon was intentionally setting up a comparison with Boyle`s vastly superior Welsh adaptation. Ecstasy`s visuals attempt to conjure (or blatantly copy) the same sense of puckish insanity, but while Trainspotting was an incisive, darkly humourous observation of amorality, Ecstasy attempts to inject a schmaltzy love story into the proceedings, and ends up hitting the wrong vein.
To make matters worse, Ecstasy`s band of miscreants have neither the charm nor the authenticity to prop up its meandering plot, with Lloyd coming across as a particularly vacuous character, despite Sinclair`s best efforts. There are some attempts to explore Lloyd`s relationship with his father, but even those moments aren`t enough to vest the character with any sort of memorability.
With its pulsating lights, time-lapse photography and rave party soundtrack, Ecstasy has all the trappings of a drug movie. A closer look at its chemistry, however, will reveal a sugar placebo, rather than a pill with any sort of punch. If there`s a sequel, it should be dubbed Morphine.
Summary: A downer of a drug movie
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars