Movie Review for Superbad (2007)

Click Poster to Purchase

Review #506 of 365
Movie Review of Superbad (2007) [R] 114 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $8.25
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 17 August 2007
Time: 5:30 pm
DVD Release Date: 4 December 2007 (click date to purchase or pre-order)
Film's Official WebsiteFilm's Trailer

Soundtrack: Download now from Lyle Workman - Superbad - or - order the CD below

Directed by: Greg Mottola (The Daytrippers)
Written by: Seth Rogen ("Undeclared") • Evan Goldberg ("Da Ali G Show")

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Jonah Hill (Evan AlmightyEvan Almighty) • Michael Cera ("Arrested Development") • Christopher Mintz-Plasse (debut) • Bill Hader (Hot Rod) • Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) • Martha MacIsaac (in God's Country) • Emma Stone ("Drive")

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Photos from the Premiere of Superbad
Ok, first of all, I'm not getting on the Superbad train. Sorry, I'm going to say instead that Superbad is the first film of the decade to bear a title that is right on the money in the worst of self-referential ways. I'm not going to join those saying this is the new American Pie or a wonderful comedy about the sensitivity of teenage self-image. You cannot be the new American Pie. What made American Pie work was that is was the American Pie (case in point, note that the sequels didn't quite rock the same way now did they?).

"…Superbad is the first film of the decade to bear a title that is right on the money in the worst of self-referential ways. "
Also, I remind you that, according to IMDb at the time, I was one of the first critics to write rave reviews of Judd Apatow's Knocked Up. It was great. It was hilarious. It was raunchy and deplorable in spots, yet it was still hilarious and significant. Superbad is not hilarious and it is far, far from significant. Press materials state Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen wrote the script when they were teenagers. Which, no offense to teen authors, sounds about right.

Were it not for Judd Apatow's name, it's extremely unlikely this film ever would have been made but for straight to video because somebody owed Seth Rogen a favor or two. And I will have to add Mr. Apatow to my list of directors who have 'lost it' right below Quentin "I bring you Hostel" Tarantino. Every so often, it seems there are really bad movies released that critics fear lambasting. Perhaps they don't get the films, they don't like the films, but they fear telling the truth about them. Why? Maybe they want to make sure people still think they are 'cool'. If you don't think Superbad is supergood then you're not cool. It's difficult to imagine how on earth critics could possibly believe that Superbad is a superior comedy than sayDeath at a Funeral which truly is one of the funniest films of the decade forget the year. Or, if you desire to see a really funny comedy about young people facing the problems of life and relationships, how can Superbad compete with Cashback? On no level does Superbad come close to either of these two films. Most film critics will have already seen these two films, which granted, are not as mainstream and both happen to be from the UK. Nonetheless, it is incredibly bothersome and somewhat irritating when a film like Superbad receives rave reviews as being one of the best comedies of the year, when the facts don't support that. It's not even 1/10th as good as Knocked Up which is the best USAer comedy of the year so far.

The plot couldn't have been thinner. Here it goes: two guys named Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) who are deeply best friends finally get invited to the high school drinking party of their dreams, by the girls of their dreams, and their third wheel of a super dork nerd friend is their only ticket to the alcohol they've promised to supply to the party. When trying to secure this alcohol using his new fake ID from Hawai'i and bearing the name of McLovin (no first name or maybe no last name, just one name, which maybe you have to be drunk to think that this joke of him being called McLovin can carry an entire film, not sure, wasn't drunk when I saw the film nor when I wrote the review, and still not even a chuckle has come out of me since the first time I saw this McLovin-line in the trailer that's been running for over four months), the Kansan whose real name is Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) gets embroiled in a liquor store robbery which Seth assumes instead that McLovin err Fogell has been caught using the fake ID so he convinces Evan to bail on their 'friend' and find another source of alcohol for the party. The problem is that McLovin, err Fogell, had the $100 that Jules (Emma Stone) gave Seth to buy the alcohol. So, they have no money and no transportation. They have no McLovin err Fogell either, but who cares, he's only going to be Evan's roommate at Dartmouth next fall, it's not like he's a really good friend or anything. The story then splits in to two semi-equally unimpressive and seemingly never-ending tracks: (a) Fogell err McLovin is taken on a wild ride by the two cops called in to investigate the liquor story robbery: Officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogen) who involve him in their antics and activities, mostly criminal, designed to help make him see that police can be cool people too and in effect making police officers look worse than any donut-eating stereotype ever could, and (b) Seth and Evan end up at a grown-up party because they are promised by a creepo dude who accidentally runs over Seth in the parking lot outside the liquor store where they think McLovin err Fogell has just been arrested, that he'll supply them with all the alcohol they need in exchange for their not reporting the accident to the cops since he's a wanted man. They subsequently get in his car over the strenuous objections of Evan and ride off to the party. Both of these tracks are pretty pointless overall. Neither is particularly funny, and both ended up seeming a lot like needless filler, as the point of the story really seems to be what happens when the guys all finally get to the party. Put it this way. Try to recall American Pie if you liked it and thought it was a great movie for movies of its genre etc. Imagine if American Pie was what happens to Kevin and Jim on their way to Stiffler's party; no, not the huge graduation bash at the end of the film, the first party. That would have been superbad. And that's exactly what Superbad is.

There's no point in saying this pointless mess of a pseudo teen comedy was a good movie when it wasn't. If you loved American Pie, the 40 Year-old Virgin, or Knocked Up, don't expect Superbad to live up to those expectations. It's just not that funny. To its credit, Michael Cera has a promising future. He's a likeable, decent, and charismatic actor in a funny yet endearing way. Jonah Hill has already established himself as a good character actor to play smarmy but loveable 'big' guys with curly hair and an ability to always sound like he's got a stuffed up nose even when cussing up a storm like a sailor. McLovin err Fogel err the supposed nerd for a new age and the actor who gave him his 'style' is the most overrated character of the new millennium. Seth Rogen and Bill Hader (whose character in Hot Rod was more comprehensible) were appallingly bad. These characters were disgraceful. Two police officers that get so drunk while on duty they eventually end up doing donuts in a parking lot, setting their car of fire with a makeshift Molotov cocktail, and allowing McLovin err Fogell to shoot their car full of holes. Huh? Not all police officers are perfect, nor is it taboo to spoof police, but these antics were not funny and mostly pointless. The film, directed not by Judd Apatow as the posters might have you thinking, but by Greg Mottola, is a hazily shot, aurally impaired, swerving jerky car ride to nowhere except this pearl of wisdom…we owe it to our good friends to be good friends. Aw shucks, that's the key to the universe isn't it? Who knew it would come from Superbad?

Send This Review To a Friend

Related Products from
Other Projects Featuring Superbad (2007)
Cast Members
Jonah HillMichael CeraChristopher Mintz-Plasse
Bill HaderSeth RogenMartha MacIsaac
Emma Stone
Greg Mottola
Seth RogenEvan Goldberg
CD Soundtrack

Review-lite Superbad (2007) [max of 150 words]
Sorry, but there's no McLove here for Superbad, the first film of the decade to be appropriately, self-referentially entitled. Michael Cera and Jonah Hill have promising acting careers in future niche roles, something both of whom have already proven, but as for the rest of this mess of a film which rambles into unnecessary waters stretching the thinnest possible idea out to nearly two hours, it's not supergood. Sure, there are some funny parts. Watch the trailer to see most of them. Aside from that, it's a disjointed film without much message and nor meaning, and to call it anything else is to endow it with properties is simply doesn't have.

Send This Review To a Friend

No comments: