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Overall Rating
4.29

Awesome56.52%
Worth A Look: 31.88%
Just Average: 1.45%
Pretty Crappy: 4.35%
Sucks: 5.8%

6 reviews, 33 user ratings


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Superbad
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by Erik Childress

"It's Possible This Crew Will Never Make A Bad Movie"
5 stars

It will be fun to watch if the morals police start making waves about Superbad. Not only will they miss the opportunity to take a cue from two cops in the movie trying to prove their coolness, but more tragically prove that they are forever cursed without a sense of humor. Filled with underage drinking, drug use, menstruation, juvenile sex, fights, potential alcohol poisoning and cops willingly handing a gun over to a minor, this film may sound like an after school special gone horribly wrong. Except the amount of laughter will supercede any parental or religious indifference you may have to watching teenagers be teenagers. Mapping out Superbad’s plot tract is a lesson in judging a book by its worn-out cover, but those on the Judd Apatow wagon train as they’ve proven with The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up can take a tried-and-occasionally-true premise and squeeze comic magic out of it. In what is turning out to be their year, Superbad winds up being the best single night comedy since Martin Scorsese’s After Hours.

Cozying up to their last days of high school are Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (), two B.F.F.’s who are about to see the second “F” be tested since Evan has been accepted into Dartmouth. Sean is more focused on a different kind of “F” though, seeing a big party they’ve lucked into as a chance to be taken advantage of by drunk chicks. Evan is kinda sweet on the developed Becca (Martha MacIsaac) and Seth’s longtime crush, Jules (Emma Stone, a natural beauty poised to be a real heartbreaker in future appearances), is the friendly lass hosting the evening’s event. With the knowledge that their hanger-on friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse, too-perfect), is picking up a fake ID (credentialed with the instantly immortal solo name of “McLovin”), the duo volunteer to supply the booze which, in movies like these, prove to never be a simple in-and-out.

On the verge of completing the task, McLovin is involved in a robbery that introduces him to responding officers Michaels (Seth Rogen) and Slater (Bill Hader), neither of whom are fond of their job (except for the perks of running red lights and having guns) and wind up escorting Fogell on a ride-along for much of the night. Meanwhile, Seth and Evan, assuming their connection has been nabbed by the pokies, find their way into another party with a scheme to steal as much liquor as they can carry. Proving to be not only hard, but dangerous, the pair also find their friendship being tested as Seth feels his buddy is prone to leaving him behind at every turn.

Adults may think they care less about another all-night teenage scavenger hunt for liquor, but despite the surface matter of “F”-bombs and graphic sexual language, this is a film far more sophisticated and exponentially funnier than your by-the-numbers teen fantasy. The cyclical template of unpopular kids + sex + booze = respect and lessons learned can manifest itself into the rare positive (American Pie) but more often into a formidable collection of high school cliches and staleness (Can’t Hardly Wait). The difference in Superbad is not solely linked to a screenplay that is endlessly clever in the humor it finds within its dialogue, but that we believe the characters delivering it. It’s not just that the characters are just written as clever, but there’s the understanding that those on the fringes of regular teenage gatherings (cliques, sports, parties) develop a keener sense of humor to deflect that non-acceptance which is its own clique. While others are trapped within the full-time job of fitting in, people like Evan and Seth grow in their appreciation of more grown-up things even if they have a ways to growing up themselves.

Seth, clearly the brasher of the two, can’t seem to get off the topic of getting off. Every conceivable variation of “fuck” flows from the subconscious of the portly Seth with the confidence of a Lothario who would find other uses for the soap used to wash out his mouth. In one of the funnier obsessions to come up for psychiatric scrutiny, Seth reveals a childhood secret that flirts the line between artistic ingenuity and alternative curiosity. Anyone who saw Jonah Hill’s deleted rant from Knocked Up on the failure of Brokeback Mountain could attach Seth’s fascination with a certain body part as either a latent extension of his co-dependency on Evan or just a horny youth who has only seen one of the essential body parts up close. In part, it’s a throwaway barrel of laughs (and be sure to stay through the end credits) but additionally a dimension to his persona that may be lost until you gain your own consciousness from all the laughter.

Hill was a perfect part of the Seth Rogen entourage that made up Knocked Up and it’s a shame that his best scene (in a collection of great ones) ended up on the cutting room floor. Superbad is his time to shine though. You can try selling that we haven’t seen him enough yet to determine if he’s just playing an extension of himself (and I’d offer his work in the reasonably amusing, Accepted, as a counter), but his combination of motormouth thinking and sense of alienation as a result of speaking first and coming to terms with it later is an outstanding piece of acting. He is a loyal friend and his radar for betrayal is therefore amplified when those he would fight for and protect don’t recognize his commitment.

As perfect as Hill in his role, it’s still Michael Cera who will reign as the standout here. We’ve seen a little taste of Hill’s commitment to getting the most out of a scene, but Cera easily got lost in the praise for the all-too short-lived series Arrested Development that had a top-notch cast of names consistently nailing each eccentricity in every episode. Cera’s work in Superbad though should rank as the best shy-guy performance in the annals of teenage movie history. Decide for yourselves which of his one-liners came from the moment or the script (particularly a very keen observation about the tightness of jeans.) Watch as he innocently humors the fast-talkin’ Seth as a courtesy instead of necessity and volleys non-sequiturs back with the ease of Bing Crosby. Notice Cera’s body language as he uncomfortably resists a seduction scene every bit as funny as Elizabeth Banks’ wild antics with Steve Carell from The 40 Year-Old Virgin. And in a key moment, Cera’s reaction to the discovery that all his cautious fears were unfounded is a perfect blend of timing and instant joy that it should erupt audiences in grateful solidarity.

Superbad’s humor works on so many levels of comfort that its darker fill-in-the-blanks moments may not strike you until you’re seeing it for a second time. Most of those occur within the mysterious secondary soiree where there’s an element of danger accompanying the vision of one potential future for those who use party as a verb or a substitute middle name. What dark corner of your imagination will you use to fill in the backstory of the party crasher who brings Seth & Evan? Even the broader strokes to which Rogen & Hader’s cops are drawn come with an undercurrent of taking irresponsibility to the point of no return. Before their true motivations are revealed to McLovin (and even after), their antics are also indicative of an ulterior prospect for the Seths, Evans and McLovins of the world who get off on the power they never had in their youth.

Superbad’s subtly anachronistic tone, beginning with the ‘70s Columbia Pictures logo and continuing through its ideal use of soul and disco music (much cooler than the square white kids at the center), suggest the timelessness of this type of story; a rite of passage for teenagers to have lived through either in real life or at the movies. By the time the melody shifts gears to Van Halen’s Panama, do not be surprised if the entire crowd breaks out into headbangin’ and proudly put their horns up in approval no matter what age bracket they currently file under. And still, in a movie likely to have the most talked about stain since a certain Presidential blue dress, director Greg Mottola and company don’t lose sight of the fundamental fear of change felt by these characters, personified in a perfectly realized final scene that is simultaneously funny, sweet and even worthy of a corner tear. Superbad knows to leave you laughing though, so again, be sure to stick around for the final credits. You may just be compelled to stick around for the next showing because comedies this great are all too rare.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=16125&reviewer=198
originally posted: 08/17/07 00:00:00
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User Comments

5/01/12 Chimy Changa you dont know what funny is if you dont like this movie 5 stars
8/01/11 Piz No matter how many times I watch it, it's still dumb. A wanna be American Pie with gratuity 2 stars
10/09/10 art SUPER is RIGHT! 4 stars
2/08/10 Monday Morning Some hysterical moments - well worth seeing. Great coming-of-age story. 4 stars
3/29/09 R Lan typical teen sex comedy, but well done and has some funny moments. 4 stars
1/08/09 Anonymous. i am mclovin :] 4 stars
8/11/08 Jon G Overrated - Highly Unrealistic events are not amusing to me 1 stars
3/24/08 Jessica Biel's Poolboy Emma Stone is hot!!! McLovin' was hilarious 5 stars
1/08/08 BoyinTheDesignerBubble Foul mouthed teens don't impress me. Maybe if I were a perv, I'd find this a good movie! 1 stars
1/07/08 Dina Wow, talk about overrated - don't bother. 2 stars
1/03/08 lazaro garrote the movie superbad was dynomite 5 stars
12/08/07 Alice Total crap,food for low self-esteem girls and brain dead oversexed guys. 1 stars
12/04/07 action movie fan vulgar and funny teen fantasy-comedy-lots of laughs 4 stars
12/03/07 mike Superbad was Supergood! I laughed all the way through! Best comedy in years! 5 stars
12/03/07 SamanthaP this movie is sooooo true, this represents the younger days of my lives 5 stars
11/10/07 b. goldberg just so funny 5 stars
10/23/07 William Goss Foul-mouthed and funny portrait of platonic teens and the night of their lives. 4 stars
9/23/07 Jason Michael Cera makes this movie, he is a big star on the rise. 4 stars
9/10/07 Simon Don't go moralistic and cry date rape, it's a movie, just laugh your ass off. I did. 5 stars
8/30/07 samuel there's no date rape plan..funny, real goings-on in mouth gender's minds..no female hating. 5 stars
8/26/07 Ole Man Bourbon Funny for the low-brow, juvenile tone. Some recycled jokes from the other Apatow movs, tho 4 stars
8/24/07 kiran very funny movie 5 stars
8/23/07 Lattechino Yeah, pretty much a movie about a kid planning a date rape. Why is that funny? 2 stars
8/20/07 Anthony G Hilarious. 5 stars
8/20/07 Stacy That wasn't date rape, yo. Anyway, great movie, hilarious and real! 5 stars
8/20/07 hurhur date rape so funny hurrrhurrrr 1 stars
8/20/07 Greg Absolutely one of the funniest movies ever made 5 stars
8/19/07 mark madsen funny movie 4 stars
8/19/07 Meschelle Needed to be rated more than a r. 3 stars
8/18/07 Shane this movie made me cry...... FROM AWESOMENESS!!! 5 stars
8/18/07 Mahalie This was without a doubt the funniest movie I've ever seen. 5 stars
8/17/07 Dark Enchantress funny movie, the cops were awesome! 5 stars
8/16/07 G Lee truly had its funny moments... laughed out loud... totally mindless fun 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Aug-2007 (R)
  DVD: 04-Dec-2007

UK
  14-Sep-2007 (15)

Australia
  20-Sep-2007



[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Greg Mottola

Written by
  Evan Goldberg
  Seth Rogen

Cast
  Jonah Hill
  Michael Cera
  Christopher Mintz-Plasse
  Bill Hader
  Seth Rogen



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