Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Review: "Superbad"

** While this review contains no spoilers, it will be much better recieved if you have seen the movie.**

"Superbad" had a lot going for it in my book. It's about high school, it's from the camp of Judd Apatow, and it's got Michael Cena, one of the best parts of "Arrested Development." I'm not sure what I was expecting from this movie, but it didn't quite give me all that I wanted.

First off, it was confusing to me what decade the movie took place in. By the title, soundtrack and even some of the wardrobe it seems like the 70's- So much so, that I am willing to bet that at least one iteration of the script was based in the 70's, before the studio decided it would reach a broader audience if it were contemporary. The only real giveaway that it was set today is the use of cell phones.

Secondly, there were a few elements of the story that either didn't add up or had no payoff. Case in point: In the beginning of the film, there is a sort of bully set up for Seth (Jonah Hill), but as quickly as he is introduced, he's gone. The only slight payoff to the character comes late in the third act, most defnitely as an afterthought.
There are a few parts of the movie that seem to be set-pieces (think the "period" scene) that really didn't end up being as funny as I had hoped. Also, neither of the film's protagonist are portrayed as being stupid, so when Seth empties beer into laundry detergent bottles to bring them to a party, I couldn't help but lean to my buddy and wonder, "Now why would he do something so dumb?." Petty as they may be, these are the things that crept into my head on the ride home after the movie.

Having said all that, the movie was damn funny. More than that, it had a really nice character arc for the two main characters. For anyone who has ever awkwardly broached the topic of going to different colleges with your best friend, you'll immediately identify with the emotional heart of the film.

Overall, I did like the movie. Much like "The 40 Year Old Virgin", I think this one will get better with each subsequent viewing. While the term "Instant Classic" seems to be bandied about a little too loosely these days, this film may have potential- but I believe any movie should be out for at least 5 years before the word "classic" is ever applied to it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

1 comment:

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