Superbad Review

by Ed Lau on August 21, 2007


Are you McLovin’ it?

It’s been a rather good year for Judd Apatow’s comedy crew. After the critical and box office success of The 40-Year Old Virgin, they followed up earlier this summer with Knocked Up, which has taken in almost $150 million so far in addition to some great reviews. Not bad considering Apatow brainstormed three separate television series that were all canceled in their first year. The coalition of guys like Apatow, Knocked Up star Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and other alumni of Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are starting to break-out much like the group led by Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn owned the box office a few years ago. There wasn’t a single comedy those guys weren’t in for like…a good two years or at least that’s the way it seemed and now the formula is being put into practice again by Apatow and company, albeit slightly raunchier and dirtier.

Superbad, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera

Their latest is Superbad, a teen comedy written by Rogan and friend Evan Goldberg as they attended Point Grey high school in Vancouver. It’s basically their story, complete with characters named Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (played by Arrested Development‘s Michael Cera). The film follows the two best friends on a quest to get laid before they have to go separate ways to separate colleges since you’re supposed to be good at sex before you ever hit post-secondary education. The two are hil-freakin’-larious together in a way that all guys will undoubtedly identify with, having some of the same absurdly stupid conversations that most dudes will have at some point with their friends.

Superbad, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christoper Mintz-Plasse, McLovin

The high school setting is equally authentic, perfectly portraying the awkwardness and clique culture that permeates teenage life. In fact, I’m almost sure that one of my friends said something similar like “You know when girls say ‘I was so drunk last night…having sex with him was a mistake’…dude, we could be that mistake!” Seth and Evan, along with their other friend Fogell, are convinced that the hottest girls in school, who happen to be throwing a party that they’re invited to, will sleep with them if they get them drunk enough. They’ve promised to bring the liquor to the party but problem is, they’re 18 and you have to be 21 to get alcohol in America (suckers).

Superbad, Christoper Mintz-Plasse, McLovin, Seth Rogan, Bill Hader

This is the beginning of one of the funniest sequences in film history. While Hill delivers with a frantic flailing of arms and it always seems like his eyes are going to pop out of his head as he yells one obscenity after another and Cera quietly mumbles in a self-conscious but hilarious way, the real star of the show here is Christoper Mintz-Plasse, who plays uber-nerd Fogell…or for anyone who’s seen the film…McLovin.

Superbad, Christoper Mintz-Plasse, McLovin, Seth Rogan, Bill Hader

McLovin is an instant comedy classic. Fogell is the owner of the world’s worst fake ID, claiming he’s 25, a Hawaiian organ donor and has the stupidest name ever. Every line he says is so stupid, it’s hilarious. It’s a sort of “Oh god, he didn’t just say that.” feeling everytime McLovin opens his mouth. He eventually gets pulled into the world of the best police officers ever, played by Seth Rogan and Bill Hader (of Saturday Night Live), who are a riot themselves, getting drunk, running red lights and shooting at random signs. I won’t spoil any of it for you since McLovin is worth the price of admission already.

Superbad, Michael Cera, Martha MacIsaac

While Virgin and Knocked Up strayed into romantic comedy territory, Superbad keeps away from most of those elements altogether. There is the goal of the boys scoring with their respective ladies but while that’s the overall theme, it’s seldom the actual focus of the scene. This isn’t to say that Superbad doesn’t retain some of the charm and “sweetness” of the other two but it’s not enough to get some “Awwwww”‘s from the audience. The one scene that could be considered more…sensitive is a drunken declaration of man-love between the two lead characters that’s filled with latent homoerotic tension.

It’s also not for the easily offended. This movie is among the upper echelon when it comes to profanity with all characters generously using words like #%*(, #*%&#, #(*%&@&% and #*%^#%&, not to mention the gratuitous discussion of porn, sex and various fetishes. There’s also a lengthy collage of…well, penis drawings (twice if you stay for the credits) featuring wangs in various situations like performing surgery, as Godzilla or as the one-eyed snakes on Medusa’s head. If you thought Virgin or Knocked Up was offensive, Superbad takes it to a whole new level.

Regardless, if you’re not a prude, this is a fantastically funny movie and among the best comedies I’ve ever seen. It’s not really a coming-of-age story although there are certainly similar elements to the teen movies from the ’80s like Fast Times At Ridgemont High. This is a buddy comedy like Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and overall, it’s so much fun to watch. I would love to write more about this film but I like to keep this site as family friendly as possible. However, I’m almost sure that this will be the movie that we’ll look at as the defining comedy of this decade, of our generation. If you have a slightly (okay, maybe more than slightly) dirty sense of humor, you’ll McLove this movie.

Verdict: 9 out of 10.

in Entertainment

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

derek August 21, 2007 at 11:40 am

Outstanding review! I wasn’t sold on seeing this movie as I haven’t talked to anyone that has seen it but after reading this I think I need to see it.


Jon Lee August 21, 2007 at 12:26 pm

Great review, I agree with most points, McLovin really makes the movie!
One question on my mind after watching the movie was “Why wasn’t this rated R?”


Ed Lau August 21, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Profanity isn’t a big deal here in Canada and the movie has very little nudity and the violence is comical so I’m guessing that’s why it’s only rated 18A.


Derrich August 21, 2007 at 1:33 pm

I thought it was rated R. Either way…this is the funniest movie of the summer. A bit juvenile, but if you’re not a conservative fuddy duddy, then you’ll love this flick. I laughed the entire time…non-stop pretty much.


Michael Kwan August 21, 2007 at 7:48 pm

It could be rated R where you are. Even in Canada, each province has its own ratings board (I think that’s what they’re called), so a movie could be PG in Alberta, but 14A in British Columbia.


krillz August 21, 2007 at 3:29 pm

Hmm this movie hasn’t reached Europe yet it seems, no cinema here in Sweden shows it yet… and they wonder why people download illegally?


Ed Lau August 21, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Well, Europe also gets some fantastic movies before we do. You guys had Hot Fuzz months before us.


ms danielle August 24, 2007 at 2:07 am

i will read this after i’ve watched the movie. :D it was sold out when i went to watch it on sunday. booo… didn’t feel like waiting around till 10:30pm to watch it. hope i get to see it this weekend. jigga jigga yeeeah!!!


watch bones April 26, 2008 at 2:11 pm

This movie wasn’t that funny… Its one of those… funny when youre there but once you get out, it’s not funny movies =/


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