Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill) are about to graduate and go their different ways at separate colleges. They may be best friends, but they are as different as chalk and cheese. Evan is thin and tall, sweet and smart; Seth is overweight, foul-mouthed and obsessed with sex. When they are asked to a party, and to bring the alcohol as well, they ask nerdy student Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) to use his forged ID card at the local liquor store. But things go horribly wrong when Fogell inadvertently becomes the chief witness in a robbery and is befriended by Officers Slater (Bill Hader) and Michaels (Seth Rogen).
Review by Louise Keller:
Every teenage boy's fantasy is covered in this critic proof imbecile comedy that is crammed with gross-out humour, foul language and superbad taste. The fact that writers Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg have created their two nerdy lead characters in their own image (by calling them Seth and Evan), alerts us that much of the mindset belongs to their own fantasies. Superbad is like a 113 minute wet dream. Apart from perpetual sketches of penises, firm breasts and uncontrollable male urges, there are irresponsible cops (Seth Rogan plays one of them) who delight in drinking on the job, dousing their car with alcohol and shooting at it after setting it alight. Whether or not this sends desirable signals to youngsters is debatable.
Superbad is like a downmarket, vulgar version of American Pie. It was eight years ago (in 1999) that the first American Pie movie was released, and it is not surprising that the tenor of the new gross-out teen movies in which virginity is something to be trashed before college, is presented in a more blatant and upfront manner. If the mostly young male audience at my screening is any guide, this is a hysterically funny experience. Admittedly, it did not hit the mark where I was concerned, but I am not the target audience. Nevertheless, I question the validity of explicit language in search of a reaction and I wonder whether excessive alcohol, drug use and juvenile behaviour is especially funny. What does work - and what is well done - is the portrayal of the friendship between fatty foul-mouthed Seth (Jonah Hill) and dorky, super-polite Evan (Michael Cera), who are about to be separated when they go to their respective colleges. Christopher Mintz-Plasse in his screen debut as super-nerd Fogell makes an entertaining wild card, whose unexpected collusion with the two cops, is a total surprise.
It could well start with the question: 'Did you hear about what happened on the way to the party?' There's the impossible dream to acquire enough alcohol for the party (for the under-aged), coupled with the misadventures of the two cops. By the time the boys get to the party, the girls are ripe for the picking, but nothing goes according to plan and there's a black eye and a sore head as a result. Ultimately, Superbad is a story about friendship and those nebulous, gauche years when boys will be boys, as they tread the tight rope to adulthood without a net. Enjoy it with a mate.
Email this article
CAST: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen
PRODUCER: Judd Apatow, Shauna Robertson
DIRECTOR: Greg Mottola
SCRIPT: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russ T. Alsobrook
EDITOR: William Kerr
MUSIC: Lyle Workman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Chris L. Spellman
RUNNING TIME: 113 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 20, 2007