Superbad (2007) starring Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Martha MacIsaac, Emma Stone, Aviva Baumann directed by Greg Mottola Movie Review

Superbad (2007)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Michael Cera and Jonah Hill in Superbad (2007)


I first watched "Superbad" back in 2009 having enjoyed a couple of Judd Apatow's previous comedies with expectations of being similarly entertained, I wasn't. To be honest I hated "Superbad" and because of so many positive reviews I thought I must have just been having a bad day, not in the right frame of mind for extreme sexual humour and stupidity. But having watched it again my opinion hasn't changed, I still dislike "Superbad" and really struggle to see why so many people rate it so highly.

The storyline is simple and in some ways typical, 3 high school kids with sex on the brain find a chance of getting their freak on before they head to college when they agree to get the booze for the party. What follows is a series of mis-adventures where they end up separated with best friends Seth (Jonah Hill - Evan Almighty) and Evan (Michael Cera - Juno) ending up at a very different party whilst Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse - Role Models) finds him self becoming best friends with a couple of cops who have little respect for the law.

Seth Rogen, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bill Hader in Superbad (2007)

Now the storyline itself isn't a problem, dig beneath all the profanity and it is not that different to any other teenage comedy where we have boys on a mission to get drunk and have sex. What makes it different is that it tries to push boundaries as we are dealt one profanity after another accompanied by boys talking about cocks and vaginas and getting it on. It is a case that it tries too hard and forces the humour, turning what start out as semi realistic characters into extreme caricatures.

And the upshot of this is that none of our trio are likeable, okay so Fogell is amusing in a nervous geeky sort of way but Seth is obnoxious and Evan is a wet lettuce leaf. You just can't warm to these guys and when accompanied with so much forced humour it just adds to that whole feeling that it is trying too hard to take teenage sexual humour to the next extreme level. It is a shame as beneath all this forced humour are elements of reality, when Seth admits to having had a doodling dick fetish it is sort of realistic and funny until the whole thing gets exaggerated and becomes annoying. And that is the thing about "Superbad" it goes from fun to be annoying in a blink of an eye and turning fun ideas into pure stupidity.

That is not the only thing which is wrong with "Superbad" and at 113 minutes it goes on too long. Seriously you could cut out half an hour of nonsense and then maybe it would be just about the right length. But because it goes on too long and forces everything it becomes a chore, causing numerous glances at the time to see how much more is left.

The ironic thing is that whilst "Superbad" is full of profanity, which in this amount loses its humour, and features characters which are impossible to like it is well acted. Jonah Hill gives his all as Seth and beneath all that forced swearing you can see a character based on a real person, the same with Michael Cera as Evan. And whilst I have never met someone who is so nerdishly delusional as Fogell Christopher Mintz-Plasse delivers the most enjoyable performance out of the trio.

What this all boils down to is that "Superbad" was a failure for me and whilst that probably puts me in the minority I know I'm not alone. It just felt like it was trying too hard to be funny and in doing so making what should be fun annoying.