Superbad is here, and it's every bit as good as I was expecting. While it has a few slow parts midway through, the movie certainly does not live up to its title and easily ranks right along with Knocked Up for funniest movie of the year.
To think that just a few months ago no one knew who Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen were is pretty amazing. Sure, they'd done The 40-Year Old Virgin, but Steve Carell got all the credit for that one. Then came Knocked Up, an inexpensive, critically reviewed box office smash that remained in the top ten for ten consecutive weeks. Two months later, here comes Superbad, and it's more of the same: raunchy but "sophisticated" humor, a sharp screenplay and a great, little-known cast. Apatow, Rogen and others have, in one summer, cemented themselves as the guys to go to when it comes to comedy.
Superbad is this decade's American Pie, only it is punchier and less-slapstick driven. There's no nudity, unfortunately, but there's not much of a place for it, either. The movie is about two losers trying to get laid before the end of high school, but director Greg Mottola and writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg don't try to fill the film with pie-filling pranks and get-laid-quick schemes. Considering that the two lead characters are named Seth and Evan, it is safe to assume that Superbad is based slightly (hopefully just slightly) on real experiences, and it plays out as such. Despite being crude and full of hijinx, Superbad is a pretty grounded and believable film, which makes it all the funnier.
Jonah Hill (the chubby one) is terrific as the fast-talking schemer with a dick-drawing problem, and paired with the more quiet Michael Cera we have one of the best on-screen buddy duos in quite a while. Both actors are at the top of their game here, and this should cement them as cult icons. Of course, Christopher Mintz-Plasse steals scenes as the extremely nerdy and awkward Fogell, already known for months as McLovin.
The movie is downright hilarious and has plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes throughout. As one might imagine, the first act is the funniest, but the movie is great throughout, though it does falter in a few parts halfway through. There are a couple scenes that aren't very funny and the story begins to drag, but Superbad picks itself up every time. At nearly two hours, the movie could have benefited by cutting out about ten minute or so.
Superbad is a great way to end the summer, and despite lacking any nudity will forever be one of the best R-rated teen comedies. Highly recommended to anyone who doesn't mind a lethal dose of swearing.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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