Directed by Greg Mottola
Superbad starts off great and exciting, but after nearly two hours of hanging out with these sex-starved geeks, it becomes apparent that length isn't everything.
The Longest Days
The story here is as old as time. Three ultra-geeky kids are staring down their last days in high school, ruing the fact they're still virgins.
All the school's studs pick on them and make it clear they are not invited to the next big party. On the other hand, oddly enough, a couple hot chicks show an interest in Seth and Evan, two long-time friends.
Seth (Jonah Hill, Rocket Science) is a heavy-set goob with an incredibly overwhelming fixation on the male sex organ. This leads to a virtually incalculable number of male organ jokes (hereafter referred to as MOJ, OK?). Yeah, it's rather amusing to see a young Seth, in flashbacks, drawing weenies all through class. There's a weenie taking on tanks, weenie super heroes, weenie this, weenie that. It's kinda like Bubba and his shrimp, only waaaay different. Dig?
One of Seth's many low points comes after the incredibly hot Jules (Emma Stone, TV's Drive) invites him to a party. Even more MOJ-inducing, she says, "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" when Seth offers to bring alcohol to the party. That's a nice come on that Seth utterly blows with the retort: "Yeah. My back's on my cock."
OK. Time to move on to another joke, please.
As for Evan (Michael Cera, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind), he's a really, really nice kid with a big ol' crush on Becca (Marth MacIsaac, Ice Princess). But he's a little too uptight to simply make a move. He thinks through things like the ethics of taking advantage of a drunken girl, because he respects girls too much. In a sense, he's the anti-Seth. No wonder they're best buds.
Unfortunately for Seth and Evan, their impending high school graduation will mark the end of their friendship as they know it. Evan is moving on to Dartmouth, along with the third nerd, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse in a pretty remarkable acting debut). If there's such a thing as a gangsta-nerd, this kid is it. His tough talk is backed up by an uncanny ability to inadvertently walk the walk.
As bony as this kid is, he's a powder keg of attitude and he's the one who has taken on the initiative of getting a fake ID. For Seth and Evan, Fogell becomes their sole hope of scoring — alcohol directly and chicks indirectly.
Alas, the brainiac that is Fogell has taken on the one-name moniker of McLovin on his fake ID. He also thought it would be less suspicious if he claimed to be 25 years old instead of the typical 21 and he now hails from Hawaii.
The Best Offense…
The out-of-control situations these three kids find themselves in as they make the epic journey from their high school campus to the liquor store and, ultimately, to the Big Party is oftentimes very, very funny.
But (and this is a mondo-oversized BUT), most of the jokes run their course well before the end credits roll. Not helping matters at all is a preposterous subplot involving Fogell/McLovin and a couple cops who wind up taking him along on a couple crime-busting detours as they escort the intrepid lad and his booze to the Big Party.
These cops… what can be said about these cops? For starters, they are Hollywood's latest wunderkind, Seth Rogen (co-writer of Superbad and star of Knocked Up) and Bill Hader (hey! he was also in Knocked Up).
But only one word can describe this dynamic duo of incredibly inane, over-the-top irresponsibility: annoying as all Hell on a hot tin roof during summertime on the Bayou. OK. That's more than one word, but Seth could come up with a really nice MOJ retort for ya.
The painfully misguided misadventures of McLovin and the fun-lovin' cops go on for far too long and they drag this movie from pleasantly offensive to unbearably preposterous. When they torch their squad car, it's time to prepare a theater exit strategy. And it's what moves this movie from a mild recommendation to a reserved mixed bag.
While Rogen and his co-writer, Evan Goldberg, try to tack on some last-minute social responsibility by offering up a sense of regret from Seth and Evan, there's the lingering sense that this movie's destiny is to be perpetually on auto-replay at high school and college drinking parties for ages to come.
• Originally published at MovieHabit.com.