It's All Gone Pete Tong

It's All Gone Pete Tong begins as a fake documentary on the fictional DJ Frankie Wilde (Paul Kaye, Shaun of the Dead, Agent Cody Banks 2). Wilde is a sensation in the world of techno/electronica/dance music. His club appearances attract thousands of screaming fans, and he has a larger-than-life personality to match. Wilde lives a fairytale life in Ibiza, happily imbibes copious amounts of alcohol and all sorts of drugs. He is mischievous, and frequently out of control. But because he is such a great DJ, it only adds to his mystique. According to the documentary, about a year ago, Wilde lost his hearing due to prolonged exposure to loud music. He disappeared from sight, and many real DJs including Tong, Carl Cox, and Lol Hammond, appear to blur the line between reality and fiction. They speculate on what Wilde is doing now in between praising him.

Writer/director Michael Dowse (Fubar) switches gears and focuses completely on Wilde's freefall. It's All Gone Pete Tong has a pretty cliched script, but succeeds on the mesmerizing performance of Kaye. In the beginning, Wilde is an insane man waiting for a spectacular burnout. He does drugs in front of his son, and barely gets along with his wife Sonja (Kate Magowan, 24 Hour Party People, Nailing Vienna). He's also pretty damn annoying. Kaye infuses the Wilde character with so much energy and personality that the viewer wants to slap him. Once his hearing goes, Kaye becomes a different person. Gone is all sense of life, and Wilde becomes a walking ghost. He simply does not care anymore.

At some point he decides to pull himself together. He cleans up his act and begins taking lip-reading lessons from the insanely attractive Penelope (Beatriz Batarda, The Murmuring Coast, In the Darkness of the Night). Penelope is deaf, and oh yes, insanely attractive. She is able to put Wilde in his place whenever he unwittingly insults her or other deaf people. She is the one that shows him that he can function without hearing, and of course, they begin a romance. This is where It's All Gone Pete Tong slips a bit into a conventional movie. Dowse wanted to force Dowse to walk the gauntlet before coming up with a happy ending, and he goes too far on the rebound aspect. Wilde discovers that he can still make music (and it is enthralling to watch him discover and hone his newfound ability), but take a step back and it all seems a tad ridiculous. With Penelope, Wilde throws off the shackles of his old life, spurning the renewed advances of his money-grubbing wife and slick agent (played nicely by Mike Wilmot, The Wrong Guy, That Old Feeling). The character is noticeably different. This is because of both the script and Kaye, but while the script heaps cliché upon cliché, Kaye tempers them by focusing on his character. And Batarda's hot.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 30 minutes, Rated R for pervasive drug and alcohol abuse, language, and some sexual content/nudity.

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