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The Life Of Stuff Review

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Fraser (Bremner) is a pathetic lackey for would-be crime boss Dobie (Flemyng). Dobie in turn enlists help from psychotic Arboghast (Ciaran Hinds) to murder local gang boss Alec (Cunningham) and escape to the sun-soaked island of Ibiza.

★★★★

Imagine being plunged into a nightmarish maelstrom of drink, drugs and human detritus. That's precisely how it feels to be visually assaulted by even one tenth of The Life Of Stuff, one of the most depressingly abhorrent films you could ever wish not to see.

Pitched somewhere between Peter Greenaway and Danny Boyle, the film suffers not from just a lack of content but an absence of creative judgement. The story, which book-ends convoluted and confused set pieces, has Trainspotting's Bremner as Fraser, a pathetic lackey for would-be crime boss Dobie (Flemyng). Dobie in turn enlists help from psychotic Arboghast (the film's one saving grace Ciaran Hinds) to murder local gang boss Alec (Cunningham) and escape to the sun-soaked island of Ibiza.

And that, unfortunately, is the whole story. The majority of the film involves copious drink and drug abuse that makes Trainspotting look like an episode of Playbus. Set in an abandoned nightclub the atmosphere of the film stoops to ground level at the beginning and violently burrows its way to Australia by the conclusion. The single set creates an ultimately claustrophobic and choking atmosphere that only succeeds in alienating its audience. And the script gives the characters such little depth and hideous idiosyncrasies that the audience is left willing them to meet a grisly end rather than sympathising with them.

The direction, meanwhile, juxtaposes schlock horror and high brow psychoanalysing, running in tandem with a virtual torrent of blood, vomit and human waste which is more repellent than shocking. Sporadic humour and - Hinds apart - a few average performances fail to save Donald's adaptation of this stage play from being among the most base and ultimately pointless exercises in filmmaking for a long while.

Sporadic humour and - Hinds apart - a few average performances fail to save Donald's adaptation of this stage play from being among the most base and ultimately pointless exercises in filmmaking for a long while.