It would be a stunning travesty of near epic proportions to pigeonhole Superbad in the company of the likes of American Pie (1999), or Road Trip (2000). The doofus infused high school movie has been done to death in recent years but Superbad feels fresh, edgy and essentially everything its predecessors were not. Riding the cusp of success that followed the hilarious Knocked Up (2007), the story finds teenage trio Seth (Jonah Hill), Evan (Michael Cera) and Fogel aka McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) on a desperate quest for booze. Unfortunately said booze is located in a 7/11 that happens to be held up at the same point Fogel is employing his ludicrous fake ID, landing him smack dab in the back seat of an LAPD patrol car. This is just the start of what proves to be a truly non-stop, laugh-so-hard-it-hurts evening of frolics and mayhem.

The fact that the booze is crucial to Seth and Evan’s plans to get laid at a house party only serves to heighten their desperation to acquire the liquor at all costs, including leaving Fogel in the hands of the police (Bill Hader and Seth Rogen). The story then veers off at a surprisingly inventive tangent as Fogel goes on a ride, along with officers Slater and Michaels, whose antics would not be out of place in a Hunter S Thompson novel. Meanwhile, Seth and Evan’s desperate quest for alcohol sees them blackmail a slightly deranged local into helping them lay their hands on some booze in time to make it to the party.

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Hill and Cera prove to have genuine on-screen chemistry and they hold the story together in a way that is both fiercely entertaining yet genuinely poignant in places. As they struggle with the realisation that their school days are coming to end, their feelings of doubt and anxiety about the college years ahead come to the fore. Having hailed from the Judd Apatow comedy locker, Hill is very much the stand out performer and, having already appeared in Knocked Up, no doubt has a bright future ahead. The film is bolstered by the likes of Hader and Rogen whose turn as officers Slater and Michaels prove to be the cramp inducing icing on the proverbial cake of hilarity. The point at which the two officers try to fake the theft of their patrol car by setting it on fire is only made more eye-watering by the fact that they then allow the heavily inebriated Fogel to empty a clip into it.

In true Ferris Bueller style the story has genuine human qualities, which makes the film stand out all the more and, as the trio narrowly escape the evening’s escapades, the backdrop of being separated by college is ever-present. While the film may seem slightly long, touching on two hours, the comedy never abates and it is as consistently funny a film as you will see this year. Though some of the jokes may border on the grotesque, this only adds to the flavour of what is a truly hilarious and entertaining movie. With the increasingly dependable work being produced by Rogen et al, we can only hope that this calibre of comedy continues.

Reviewed on: 18 Jan 2008
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An ode to friendship in the final night of high-school leads to a party never to be forgotten.
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Read more Superbad reviews:

Scott Macdonald ****1/2
Stephen Carty ****

Director: Greg Mottola

Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Martha MacIsaac, Emma Stone, Aviva Farber, Joe Lo Truglio, Kevin Corrigan, Clement Blake

Year: 2007

Runtime: 114 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: USA

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