Sorted (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The UK's Channel 4 recently ran a series called Movie Virgins, which was kind of a documentary spiced with a hint of reality show. It followed the fortunes of several aspiring film directors. One of them was Alex Jovy, a law school graduate and disco DJ who overcame all odds and got this film into the Cannes Festival, and while he was there managed to maintain his hot streak by swinging a distribution deal. 

The film has a familiar set-up:

A young man comes from a small town in the north of England to London when he hears about his brother's death in the capital. He resolves not to let the matter drop until he knows whether his brother's fall from a rooftop was an accident, suicide, foul play, or the result of intoxication. Younger brother arrives in London wearing a modest suit with a military haircut, and soon finds out that his lawyer brother was a denizen of a wild club scene in London. Along the way, he hooks up with his brother's conservative, astonishingly beautiful, and seemingly innocent girlfriend (Sienna Guillory - Helen of Troy), who seems to have thought that the dead man was nothing more than a successful lawyer, and purports to have been unaware of his wild clubbing. The country boy soon determines that he cannot accomplish anything in his investigation  because he doesn't relate to or fit in with the rave crowd, so he enlists some of his brother's friends to get him a wardrobe and an attitude that will enable him to move inconspicuously within the scene, or at least inconspicuously enough to move his inquiries forward.

I think you can determine from that description that the plot of this film is basically by the book.

The younger brother and the girlfriend of the deceased manage to butt up against the evil schemes of an over-the-top, androgynous drug dealer who speaks in 17th century phrases. Dr. Evil seems to have had something to do with older brother's death, because he wants the younger brother to stop asking questions and will go to outlandish lengths to accomplish that. This villain wears a velvet smoking jacket, smokes with a cigarette holder, and wears a perpetual evil sneer as he mouths lines like "Administer the heroin - then return her to the citadel", "We meet again, my sorrowful friend", and "Who is this maiden fair?" What, no hairless cat? As far as I can tell, this characterization was not intended to be comedic or surreal, because the film seems to be free from irony, and I think we are supposed to take Dr. Evil seriously as a credible real-world villain. Can you guess from the description who might have been cast in this exaggerated role? None other than the man we like to call Shatner-upon-Avon. Even when playing a normal role, Tim Curry is such a big ham that he could feed all of Poland on Easter Day, but in this role his ham content required several major religions to re-write their dietary laws to allow members of their faith to handle the film reels.

The film does have quite a good look to it, but the Curry character drove a nail in the story's credibility, so the only thing that really makes Sorted noteworthy is its portrayal of a certain part of London's night life: the raves, the drugs, the clubs. The long dance sequences are the film's drawing point for people who enjoy strobe lights, designer drugs and techno-pop music; but those elements are also the film's biggest turn-off for those who simply aren't interested in that scene or that sound. (I can't attest to this fact, but some reviewers in the UK noted that the scene portrayed as hip and contemporary in the film is actually passť.)

Although I could see that the director has some talent, there were too many negatives from my point of view. I never got involved in the plot of this film at all, I thought Tim Curry seemed to be in a completely different movie, and I was irritated by the distorted reality gimmicks and the noisy techno pop atmosphere.


This film is not available on a North American DVD.

If you are interested, here is the Region 2 DVD info from Amazon UK


Fay Masterson shows her breasts as the evil floozy/lackey sent by Dr. Evil to seduce our hero away from the good girl.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C. I know that I wasn't very kind to the film, but I don't mean to suggest it is a poor effort. It may be a worthwhile experience if the techno scene is your kind of entertainment.

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