Mr. Nice (2010) Poster

Mr. Nice (2010)

  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 2,500 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 3 June 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 121 min
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Mr. Nice (2010)

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  • IMDb page: Mr. Nice (2010)
  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 2,500 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Comedy | Drama
  • Release Date: 3 June 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 121 min
  • Filming Location: Benidorm, Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain
  • Gross: £528,534(UK)(17 October 2010)
  • Director: Bernard Rose
  • Stars: Rhys Ifans, Chloë Sevigny and David Thewlis
  • Original Music By: Philip Glass   
  • Soundtrack: Don't Bogart Me
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Drugs | Smuggler | Hashish | Drug Smuggling | Husband Wife Relationship

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Howard Marks  book
  • Bernard Rose  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Anachronisms: When Howard meets with Mac, the MI-6 operative, in the pub, a modern day Ford Focus can be seen out the window.

    Plot: The life story of Howard Marks, an elite British drug smuggler. |  »

    Story: The life story of Howard Marks, an elite British drug smuggler.

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Mark Albela known as co-producer
    • Paul Brett known as executive producer
    • Lisa Enos known as associate producer
    • Philip Herd known as associate producer
    • Linda James known as executive producer
    • Norman Merry known as executive producer
    • Denise O'Dell known as co-producer
    • Alexander O'Neal known as line producer
    • Andrew Orr known as executive producer
    • Denis Pedregosa known as associate producer
    • James Perkins known as executive producer
    • Michael Robinson known as executive producer
    • Luc Roeg known as producer
    • Daniel Shepherd known as executive producer (as Dan Shepherd)
    • Tim Smith known as executive producer
    • David Toso known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Rhys Ifans known as Howard Marks
    • Chloë Sevigny known as Judy Marks
    • David Thewlis known as Jim McCann
    • Luis Tosar known as Craig Lovato
    • Crispin Glover known as Ernie Combs
    • Omid Djalili known as Saleem Malik
    • Christian McKay known as Hamilton McMillan
    • Elsa Pataky known as Ilze Kadegis
    • Jack Huston known as Graham Plinston
    • Jamie Harris known as Patrick Lane
    • Sara Sugarman known as Edna Marks
    • William Thomas known as Dennis Marks
    • Andrew Tiernan known as Alan Marcuson
    • Kinsey Packard known as Patti Hayes
    • Ania Sowinski known as Maureen
    • James Jagger known as Joshua Macmillan
    • Howell Evans known as George the Scout
    • Ken Russell known as Russell Miegs
    • Ferdy Roberts known as Acid Man
    • Waris Hussein known as Mohammed Durrani
    • Huw Davies known as Donald Nice
    • Matthew Jacobs known as Eddie Laxton
    • David Sibley known as Philip Fairweather
    • Daniel Faraldo known as Mexican Secret Srrviceman
    • Gillian Hanna known as Irish Phone Operator
    • Dewi Williams known as Swansea's Custom Man (as Dewi Rhys Williams)
    • Iwan Roberts known as Postmas
    • Nathalie Cox known as Opium Girl
    • Jay Itzkowitz known as Judge James C Paine
    • Ian Burford known as Bank Chairman
    • Rollo Weeks known as Eton Boy
    • Julian Firth known as MIG Duncan
    • Olivia Grant known as Alice
    • Jams Thomas known as James Morris
    • Frank Bourke known as Loose Change Man
    • Thomas Whwatley known as John Rogers QC
    • Mark Tandy known as Lord Hitchinson QC
    • Eric Loren known as Miami Prosecutor
    • Tony Rohr known as Landlord
    • Paige Hewitt known as Myfanwy Marks
    • Amelia Clarkson known as Myfawny Marks
    • Hannah Roeg known as Francesca Marks
    • Claudia Harris known as Amber Marks
    • Ella Roeg known as Amber Marks
    • Edgar Harris known as Patrick Marks
    • Jeremi Cockram known as Teacher
    • Rob Lane known as Acid Policeman
    • Caolan Byrne known as Irish Man
    • Ifan Huw Dafydd known as Rugby Doctor
    • Stephen Marzella known as Customs Officer #1
    • Euron Griffith known as Customs Officer #2
    • Terence Harvey known as Old Bailey Judge
    • Andrew Havill known as Prosecution Barrister
    • Kal Weber known as US News Anchor
    • Dominic Graville known as Tennis Fave
    • Raquel Gribler known as Welfare Officer
    • Craig Stevenson known as Webster
    • Julio Perillán known as Parole Examiner
    • Deobia Oparei known as Tee Bone Taylor
    • Ron Forsythe known as Gary Lickert
    • Francesc Pagès known as Spanish Magistrate (as Francesc Pages)
    • Emerald Fennell known as Rachel
    • Owain Arthur known as Albert
    • David-Doc O'Connor known as US Marshal (as David O'Connor)
    • Ricardo Birnbaum known as Miami Cop
    • Ernesto Cantu known as Latino Prisoner (voice) (uncredited)
    • Dominic Kerrigan known as The Dentist (uncredited)
    • Rhys McLellan known as Bully (uncredited)
    • Zoe Mills known as Running Woman (uncredited)
    • Laurence Richardson known as Officer (uncredited)
    • Sule Rimi known as Jimi Hendrix Hippie (uncredited)

    ..

     

    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Amy Clark known as daily makeup artist: UK
    • Stuart Conran known as prosthetic technician
    • Jo Evans known as hair stylist
    • Mikeldi Ferras known as hair stylist: Spain
    • Mikeldi Ferras known as makeup artist: Spain
    • Delia Fraile Martin known as hair stylist: Spain
    • Delia Fraile Martin known as makeup artist: Spain
    • Susana Gonsalves Delgado known as hair stylist: Spain
    • Susana Gonsalves Delgado known as makeup artist: Spain
    • Paul Hyett known as special makeup effects designer
    • Juan Manuel Lopez known as hair stylist: Spain
    • Juan Manuel Lopez known as makeup artist: Spain
    • Carmen Martín known as hair stylist assistant: Spain
    • Carmen Martín known as makeup artist assistant: Spain
    • Paul Mitchell known as provider: hair products
    • Antonio Perez Ferrandiz known as hair stylist: Spain
    • Antonio Perez Ferrandiz known as makeup artist: Spain
    • Lisa Pugh known as hair stylist trainee: UK
    • Lisa Pugh known as makeup trainee: UK
    • Amy Riley known as makeup artist: UK
    • Steff Roeg known as makeup designer
    • Vicky Salway known as daily makeup artist: UK (as Victoria Salway)
    • Laura Schiavo known as hair designer
    • Dan Frye known as makeup effects technician (uncredited)

    Art Department:

    • Sonia Aranzabal known as art director: Spain
    • Chema Bellido known as set decorator: Spain
    • Iñaki Bruña known as production buyer: Spain (as Inaki Bruna)
    • Joseph Craig known as dressing props: UK
    • Tim Dickel known as art director: UK
    • Luis Doce known as dressing props: Spain
    • Arwel Evans known as prop hand: UK
    • Paco García known as assistant dressing props: Spain (as Paco Garcia)
    • Vicky Gleeson known as art department assistant
    • Daniel Izar de la Fuente known as dressing props: Spain (as Dani Izar)
    • Allen Jones known as construction manager: UK
    • Anna Lynch-Robinson known as set decorator: UK
    • Charlie Malik known as dressing props: UK
    • Hannah Nicholson known as production buyer: UK
    • Aitana Ozaeta known as stand-by props: Spain
    • Sarah Payne known as graphic artist
    • Juan Pedregosa known as dressing props: Spain (as Juan Manuel Pedregosa)
    • Ifan Ramage known as prop hand: UK
    • Óscar Romero known as stand-by props: Spain (as Oscar Romero)
    • Nick Thomas known as property master
    • Christina Tom known as graphic artist
    • Silas Gee Williams known as daily stand-by carpenter: UK (as Silas Williams)

    ..

     

    Company

    Production Companies:

    • Independent
    • Kanzaman
    • Prescience

    Other Companies:

    • AGN Shipleys  auditing
    • ARRI  camera
    • Abadia Catering  catering
    • Access Bookings  accommodation
    • All Wales Ambulance Service  unit nurse: UK
    • Andy Dixon Facilities  facilities vehicles
    • Aslan Charles Kousetta  legal services: Coutts & Co
    • Bickers Action Vehicles  vehicles
    • Ciudad de la Luz Alicante  office hire: Spain
    • Clearing House, The  negative checking
    • Commercial Radio Systems Cardiff  walkie talkies & dongles
    • Coutts & CO  production finance provided by
    • Davenport Lyons Solicitors  legal services
    • Downtown Music Studios New York  mix recording facility
    • Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc.  publisher: Philip Glass music
    • Dynamic  courier
    • EFI World Courirs  courier
    • Eurocom  private apartments
    • Fatts  post-production script services
    • Fintage House  world revenues collected and distributed by
    • Foxtrot Firearms  replica firearms
    • Framepool  stock footage
    • Gold Security Group  security: UK
    • Hannon Media  health & safety advisor
    • Harbottle & Lewis  legal services: Prescience
    • Hotel Melia Alicante  hotel
    • ITV Wales  office hire: UK
    • Intelligent Media  international monitoring agency
    • Kodak  film stock
    • Lee & Thompson  legal services: LipSync
    • Lee & Thompson  legal services: The Wales Creative IP Fund
    • Legacy Studios New York  music recording facility
    • Lip Sync Post  digital intermediate
    • Lip Sync Post  sound re-recording
    • Mac Cosmetics  beauty products
    • Media Services  stationery supplier
    • Mediacom 24-7  travel and accommodation
    • Mercure Cardiff  hotel
    • Orange Mountain Music  provider: Philip Glass music
    • PMA Production  behind the scenes production
    • Panalux  lighting equipment
    • Perpetual Film Capital  bridge financing
    • Premier PR  unit publicity
    • Prescience Film Fund  bridge financing (as Prescience Film Finance)
    • Salon  lighting equipment (as Salon Limited)
    • Sargent Disc  payroll
    • Sequridad y Vigilancia  security: Spain
    • Southern Sun  grip and lighting equipment
    • Take 2 Film Services  cameras: grip & lenses
    • Totally Entertainment  insurance
    • Wales Creative IP Fund  funding
    • Wheels in Vision  vehicles

    Distributors:

    • Contender Entertainment Group (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
    • Paradiso Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • Seville Pictures (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • UFO Distribution (2011) (France) (theatrical)
    • Eagle Entertainment (2011) (Australia) (DVD)
    • Koch Media (2011) (Germany) (all media)
    • MPI Media Group (2011) (USA) (all media)
    • Paradiso Home Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD)
    • Teleview International (2010) (Lebanon) (all media) (Middle East)

    ..

     

    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Lip Sync Post (visual effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Luke Butler known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
    • Neil Culley known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
    • Stefan Drury known as head of visual effects: LipSync Post
    • Kim Gordon known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
    • Yanni Goudetsidis known as systems engineer: LipSync Post
    • Rich Nosworthy known as digital compositor: LipSync Post (as Richard Nosworthy)
    • Jon Stanley known as senior systems engineer: LipSync Post
    • Samantha Tracey known as visual effects coordinator: LipSync Post
    • Rick White known as technical support: LipSync Post
    • Sheila Wickens known as visual effects supervisor: LipSync Post
    • Blake Winder known as digital compositor: LipSync Post
    • Robert Hamilton known as green screen (uncredited)

    Release Date:

    • USA 14 March 2010 (South by Southwest Film Festival)
    • UK June 2010 (Edinburgh Film Festival)
    • Germany 17 September 2010 (Oldenburg International Film Festival)
    • France 6 October 2010 (Dinard Festival of British Cinema)
    • Spain 6 October 2010 (Seville Film Festival)
    • Ireland 8 October 2010
    • UK 8 October 2010
    • Netherlands 26 October 2010 (Leids Film Festival)
    • Sweden 17 November 2010 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
    • Italy 3 December 2010 (Turin Film Festival)
    • Sweden 3 December 2010
    • Slovenia 13 January 2011
    • France 5 February 2011 (Villeurbanne British and Irish Film Festival)
    • Denmark 3 March 2011
    • France 31 March 2011 (Beaune Film Festival)
    • France 2 April 2011 (Alès Film Festival)
    • France 13 April 2011
    • Poland 20 May 2011
    • USA 3 June 2011
    • Germany 23 June 2011
    • Netherlands 15 September 2011
    • Russia 23 February 2012

    ..

     
     

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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    Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .

    10 Comments

    1. Chris_Docker from Scotland, United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      I hadn't read much about the film before seeing it. Afterwards, I'd sayit is one part sexy, stoned, witty fun. One part light-hearted crimecaper (almost, but not quite, getting too repetitive). And one part'serious issues.' The film is very loosely inspired by the life ofHoward Marks.

      Part One. Howard (Rhys Ifans) goes from a tiny school in Wales tobecome a successful Oxford graduate, consuming large amounts ofmarijuana on the way (plus a tiny bit of LSD, probably a lot of sex,and a small amount of alcohol). After Oxford, he gives up drugs tobecome a teacher. But when a pal is stranded trying to bring a car fullof resin home, he kindly steps in and finds it rather lucrative. Thedifference between someone who smokes and someone he deals is, as heputs it, the first smokes all they have; whereas the second has morethan they can humanly smoke. He's drawn into the Secret Service inpassing, who like his ability to move between borders and attractladies.

      I found Part One very funny. I have a slight problem with Rhys Ifanslooking the same age at the beginning of the film as he does many yearslater, and after a fairly long stretch in prison. But it didn'tdistract me from enjoying it. His Welsh humour finds its mark, thecomedic editing and timing is flawless, and for anyone over a certainage it has elements of a trip down memory lane. When David Thewlischimes in (convincingly) as an IRA leader, Jim McCann, offering tosupply planes to ferry the stuff over, heavyweight Irish hilarity meetsWelsh wit. The head-on result is riotous, and yet never predictable orstilted. Add to that, my favourite fall-in-love-with-the-bad-guyactress, Ms Chloë Sevigny, and I am in for the ride.

      Part Two consists of several cat-and-mouse chases as they evadecapture. I did wonder if they were going to keep it up till the end ofthe movie, but it gives me a chance to look out for a tiny cameo byking-of-the bad-boy directors himself, Mr Ken Russell. (Look carefullyor you will miss him – in the background at one of the passport checksequences.)

      Part Three is when we start to see what the movie's seriousundercurrent is, and it accordingly leaps in my estimation. RememberSteven Soderbergh's film, Traffic? If you came out of that thinkingevery sensible, well-supported argument on legalising marijuana hadbeen made – and still there was no change in government policy – it'stime to realise that rational argument is not going to change articlesof faith. Can humour help? Mr Nice doesn't make moral judgements. Butthe natural facts speak for themselves. The main character and hisassociates never use hard drugs (stated emphatically). There are noperceptible harmful effects (other than Howard and friends enjoyingwhat they do). There are considerable beneficial effects. Especiallynotable is the scene where a man discovers his partner beingunfaithful. We expect violence. If they had been drinking alcohol – adrug with far more proved harmful effects – violence would almostinevitably followed. Instead, they get momentarily outraged: then sharea joint. From my limited student experience of the dope-smoking 'scene'many years ago, this is an entirely plausible reaction. The associationwith 'organised crime' (here, the IRA in the form Jim McCann) isclearly a result of anti-drugs legislation, not the other way around.The misery inflicted is the emphatically the result of anti-drugslegislation, not the use of the drug (Sevigny especially comes into herelement with some emotionally moving end-scenes. Yes, I did shed atear. And Sevigny managed a very nice English accent to boot).

      The filmmakers must have wondered if smoking marijuana would bedecriminalised before Mr Nice was released – but the UK government, inone of the many pre-election scandals, ignored the advice of its ownexperts and continued to include hash in the 'war on drugs.' AsSoderbergh said years ago, "We can't have a frank discussion with ourpolicymakers – if you're in the government or in law enforcement youcannot acknowledge that drugs are anything but inherently evil andmorally wrong." Bottom line: there is too much money and jobs tied upin 'drugs enforcement' to legalise them. But I should stress that thisis my 'reading' of the film. Someone opposed to decriminalisation mightreach an entirely different conclusion, and from watching the very samefilm.

      On the downside, two hours of largely hash-based comedy could be verywearisome for anyone that hasn't had at least passing familiarity withthe stuff. Other complaints might include Rhys Ifans not seeing him gethis shirt off often enough (though I lost count of the number of timeshe did). Or whether Ms Sevigny used a stand-in for the brief times hershirt was off. On the plus side, it made me proud that Britain couldturn out solid, constructive comedy. Rather than kitchen-sink dramabased (as Ken Russell might say) on 'football in the Midlands.'Sometimes laughter, well done, can maybe reach places that common sensealone cannot reach.

    2. bartireid from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      Mr Nice is a rare beast of a film, it swaggers, it spits, it dreams, itpunches, it laughs, it cries and of course and likely above all it getsstoned.

      Howard Marks is the central character played effortlessly by RhysIfans, a welsh school boy turned big city student and pothead. We seeMarks transformation through a series of off beat scenes in whichdirector Bernard Rose reflects on Marks' humble, banal yet honestorigins. Then our protagonist through a combination youthful substanceexperimentation and a fateful convergence of circumstances isestablished as an international Drug smuggler,

      We are gradually introduced to a plethora of interesting charactersthat vary from casual love interests to drug dealing allies, whomaterialise as Ifans travels deeper into Marks' world of dope, dealingand debauchery. Amongst the group are fine supporting efforts notablyfrom David Thewlis who delivers the hilariously cranky IRA terroristturned middle man Jim. Chloë Sevigny convinces as the overly supportivewife and mother Judy and Omid Djalili sparkles intermittently as thePakistani pusher Saleem Malik.

      The film takes us through the tumultuous times of sex, drugs, betrayal,greed, prison and pot which Marks and his merry men navigate their waythrough against a lush backdrop of 70's pastiche. By the time we get tothe stories conclusion we have great connections with the charactersmotives as a result of the superb cast and due to an impressivedirectorial mesh of humour and grit from Rose what's left is the bestBritish film of the year to date.

      8/10

    3. intelearts from the big screen
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      Howard Marks' biography remains one of the more fascinating anderudite, and just plain gobsmaking pieces of the past 20 years. Hecaptured the zeitgeist and his book is full of bathos, bravado, andeven some pathos.

      The film does not capture this well. Shot in a very linear fashion weget a A-Z account of the life, but it suffers from that film biographysickness of making the events govern – and though we get those eventsquite frankly it gets pretty dull pretty quickly.

      Given the talent here they should have gone for laughs, and thoughthere are some, they are few and far between. What we have ended upwith is a mediocre drama about the relationship between the IRA and adrug dealer – and honestly, even though it is viewable, it's notexactly brilliant.

      If drugs are your thing I guess you may enjoy it. I was hoping forsomething less brash, less linear, and just more. The fault lies mainlyin the script, the script is just not picking the superb moments thatwould have lifted this to another level, and is way too "and then thishappens."

      Given the material this could have been an excellent film, it's justOK.

    4. tyo24 from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      A film that in theory couldn't go wrong with some of the stories Howardhas got in his arsenal. But the film was slightly off aim; mainly byconcentrating more on his family life than action packed drug deals orcomedy situations. Lets face it, the reason everyone wants to read andnow watch about Marks is not his loyalty as a husband or devotion as afather.

      Director Bernard Rose just seemed to go the wrong way about telling thestory of Mr Nice. With very dry arresting scenes which are better leftplayed out in your head with Howard's narration or read in the book.Thefilm does have its up points however with David Thewlis putting in amaster class performance as crazy Irish IRA Jim McCann which left mehalf wanting the film to be all about him. Rhys Ifans played the partof Mr Nice with that particular Marks swagger which his fans know andlove him for and pulls it off well.

      The film has pockets of comedy which helps numb the slow two hours ofproduct, but at times it doesn't seem to know what it is a good wittyBritish film to an ITV drama.

    5. der_chi-gong from Germany
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      There are not many movies I have not watched until the end. This isunfortunately one of them. The book is amazing but I am not sure if allthe actors have read it. I read it several times because of the wildride that it is.

      How anyone can turn this wild ride into a senior boat trip is beyondme.

      Maybe they will make a remake of it in 10 years or so.

      Until then I will read the book some more times…

      …but, if you don't believe me, go see for yourself. I challenge youto watch it all the way through…

    6. bisiker from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      First and foremost, if you haven't read the book or seen the film. Thenplease read the book first. Then if you want to afterwards, watch thefilm. Now I fully appreciate that novels, films, plays etc are alldifferent forms of art and ways of telling stories, and peopleshouldn't always compare a film to the original book so harshly as mostdo. But immediately two books spring to mind that the writer of thenovel has done a fantastic job, and so has the film in adapting it, Ispeak of, 'No Country for Old Men' and 'The Assassination of JesseJames by the Cowards Robert Ford'. However, with 'Mr. Nice', the bookis greatly written, it is funny, witty, heartwarming and a generalentertaining easy read which is fantastic coming from such anintelligent man who doesn't have to prove himself by filling the novelwith big clever words. But what he does do is fill it will the entiretyof his life that makes for a fun and interesting read, that createscharacters in your head you can picture so well and understand, andeven at the end of wish you could of been apart of his life (for thegood times anyway). Now the best way to describe what Bernard Rose didto the book to make the film was simply pick it up, and flick throughit all in the that quick motion we can do with our thumb, letting thepages slide by and fan us as it goes. This is what the film felt liketo me. It had no structure in terms of story to it, just episodes ofthe book he could pick out with his eyes as the pages flew past him andthen shot it, and in the editing room tried to string them together toget some sort of story out it. Even if I hadn't read the book beforeand knew all that Rose had left out, I still wouldn't have connectedwith any of the characters on the screen or the story itself. You maysay that a four hundred page book is difficult to squeeze into a twohour film, and that is fair enough, but I ask you to only look towardswhat Jackson and Walsh did for the LOTR. This then leads me to believethat Rose has no real writing skills and doesn't really no what a storyis. Nor editing for that matter. But what annoyed me the most I thinkfor this film is the total lack of knowledge towards the characters hewas portraying on the film, now I may have read the book differently,and this is just my opinion, but I don't feel any of the characterswere captured at all on the screen, especially Jim McCann, and everyscene never went anywhere or made me feel anything towards them or theconnection they should have with another. Like I said before, it justfelt like Rose had took bits of the book out and tried stringing themtogether, giving us no real story or character arc. The only savinggrace for this film for me was the fact that Rose remembered to put ina few of the good bits from the book itself, such as the funny scene inboth book and film of when McCann and Marks are trying to talk to eachother over the radio.

    7. waynesjohn from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      It is with tedious inevitability that we are dragged like schoolchildren in a gallery through the (ostensibly quite interesting) lifeof Howard Marks. I felt like I was stoned just watching it. Time seemedto have have completely stopped functioning. Simultaneously I could seeexactly what what going to happen next, whilst obtaining a massivesense of deja-vu from what had gone before. I then went to the fridgeand ate everything I could find in it and began staring at stuff in mysitting room for ages and ages, mainly to avoid looking at the screen.Nothing to see here, nothing new to say. Not worth renting unless youare still impressed by a bit of grass because you're a first yearGeography student from Kettering.

    8. movie evangelist from England
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      The Pitch: Howard The Skunk.

      The Review: I spent four years at University in Bath, getting a degreeand starting to develop my love of movies. While I was there, I cameinto contact with two things for the first time in my life: drugs, andthe Welsh. Not a combination that I, or indeed anyone else, wouldnecessarily put together, but that combination was responsible for oneof the biggest drug trafficking rings ever seen in this country, orindeed any other. That Welshness was contributed fairly effectively byone man, Howard Marks, described by the Daily Mail as "the mostsophisticated drugs baron of all time." Not that you'd know that fromwatching Mr. Nice. Rhys Ifans comes across as a fairly reasonableapproximation of the man himself, and this is the story of his passagefrom the small coal-mining village where he grew up to Oxford, and thepronounced influence that had on his future direction. Despite becominga big fan of recreational drugs, if Mr. Nice is to be believed Marksfell into his career almost by accident, just happening to be in eitherthe right or wrong place at the appropriate time. Slowly but surely, heexpands his influence and his reach, and every time an opportunitycomes up, he takes it.

      In order to get what he needs, he begins to rope in a motley crew ofaccomplices, and ends up getting involved with the IRA (a manic DavidThewlis) and eventually even expands into the Americas (via a beardedCrispin Glover), despite the protestations of his wife (Chloe Sevigny),seemingly the only person who can appreciate the potential cost of therisks that Howard's taking. Through the course of this, don't expectdeep insights into why Marks is doing what he's doing, or passionatearguments for the legalisation of recreational drugs – those are onlyimplied in the sense that this really isn't Trainspotting, and thedownsides of Howard's habits are the run-ins with the law that he had,not from what he or any others ended up taking.

      But freed from the weight of those expectations, this is an enjoyableromp. Bernard Rose has both adapted the screenplay and directed – hisdirection is unshowy, but there are little stylised touches (insertingIfans into stock historical footage) and the occasional impressiveimage, but by and large he lets the story do the talking. Thewlisprobably gets to have the most fun, raging around with his accent,while the only slight weak link is Sevigny, the accent wavering justoccasionally and the performance also slightly shaky. There's nothingshaky about anyone else, though, they're all too tripped out on thematerial, so just sit back, revel in the absurdities of the story (alltrue, as long as you believe Marks), and have a good time, man.

      Why see it at the cinema: There's a few shots, such as a car crash,that will benefit from the big screen, but by and large you'd be heremore for the company than the impact of the visuals.

      The Score: 7/10

    9. ichrisho from United Kingdom
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      Impossible to review as a movie based so loosely on reality and truththat one feels that a child could have lived it. A shame – as one wouldlove to believe that Howard Marks was some kind of Magician and on thispoor representation one could only assume that he was and still is aman in constant psychosis of reality. A pioneer of nothing and a livingoff a story that is in his own mind. The addition of juxtaposed storythreads with quite simply embarrassing pigeon-holed characters makesone weep and indeed takes away from the voice of the book. I wouldrather recommend a Disney movie as this, as is Howard's life; anauseating talk-jockey, lazy and not-that-I-care believable journey ofdisappointment. No wonder he needs to smoke. The man and the voicedeserved a whole lot better. A whole lot.

      The director has been directed and It is plain to see. Rhys Ifans is awonderful actor mind you.

    10. MrGoodMovie from Australia
      29 Mar 2012, 7:30 pm

      Like the character it portrays, this film can't quite decide whether itis an affable and somewhat naïve Welshman, or a hardened internationaldrug smuggler with terrorist and underworld connections.

      The movie primarily portrays Howard Marks as the harmless purveyor ofhashish from Pakistan/Afghanistan into Europe, the US and Canada. Italso shows him as an intense family man, rudely interrupted by constanttelephone calls to and from the front men in his drug smugglingoperations. Maybe this should not be surprising, as it is based on hisautobiography.

      However, it is difficult to believe that someone as clearly intelligentas Marks would not have understood the gravity of what he was doing andthat, sooner or later, his luck was going to run out. And this is thepart of Marks' life which the film left inexplicably unexplored.

      There were two moments when the veil slipped. The first was theunexplained death of a party-goer in Howard Marks' Oxford days. Thesecond was the consignment of semtex destined for the IRA mixed withthe somewhat less lethal stuff that Marks was smuggling.

      I actually agree with Marks' views on the legalisation of recreationaldrugs. But I feel somewhat cheated by a film that looks sosuperficially at an individual, and the consequences of his actions onsociety as a whole.

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