Published Jun 01, 2005The phrase "it's all gone Pete Tong" is a slang term in the Cockney rhyming style that translates as "it's all gone wrong," it's not actually a diss against DJ Pete Tong, though he inspired the expression. Tong also drops by as himself in this spoof on club culture, directed by Michael Dowse as a follow-up to his cult hit FUBAR. Continuing with the mockumentary style, It's All Gone Pete Tong follows the ups and downs of famous turntablist Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye), the self-proclaimed "Imelda Marcos of the Flip-Flop World." He's a star of the Ibiza party scene, the Spanish island of beaches and raves. Frankie enjoys fame and fortune, lots of coke and a slutty, Posh Spice look-alike wife. Soon, like coming down off of E, his fabulous life disintegrates because his hearing is doing just that. Frankie's dumped from his label, then by his manager and friends, leaving him alone to silently fight his demons, which in this case come in oversized stuffed animal form. He renews his love of music with the help of a sexy lip-reading teacher and makes a cathartic comeback that's akin to Beethoven's Ode To Joy.
There are resemblances to various hipster films about music, drugs, excess and failure - Spinal Tap, 24-Hour Party People, Trainspotting, Boogie Nights - yet this never feels stale. And as with those gems, there are plenty of quips that should make it into the movie quote joke lexicon (tell a drummer you know to "bang those drums like you bang your fukkin' sistah!") and even Frankie's attempted suicide is high-larious. It's All Gone Pete Tong manages to be uplifting without being preachy or cheesy. There are important life lessons to be learned here, or you could just ignore them and enjoy some clever comedy. (Alliance Atlantis)