Saturday, September 29, 2007

Movie Review: Super-Bad

I went along to see Super-Bad because everyone seems to be raving about how good it is. It consistently gets 4 star ratings from reviewers and is described as hilarious. So I thought I’d check it out. My reaction: it is super bad - in the literal sense of the words. The plot is quite straightforward. Two high school seniors, Seth and Evan (Jonah Hill and Michael Cera) are facing the prospect of graduating and attending different colleges. They’ve been good buddies and the idea of separation fills them with anxiety. They decide to organise a party with lots of booze to cope. Unfortunately, their plans go adrift and they find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The problem with Super-Bad is that it is obsessed with sex, alcohol, drugs, and male anatomy to the point that these overwhelm the plot which is thin anyway. Now, it may be true that some teenagers (read male) think about nothing else than sex, alcohol, drugs, and their anatomy. But do we want to sit and watch two hours of this stuff? Throughout the entire movie, there is graphic sexual dialogue. We are subjected to a whole series of full screne penis drawings produced by one of the characters when he was an infant because of an obsession he has had for his entire lifetime. There is a considerable amount of blood and gore (mostly comic) and a scene where a woman’s menstrual blood appears on a man’s trousers after dancing. The F-word occurs nearly 190 times along with other coarse language. There is LOTS of alcohol drinking plus marijuana and cocaine use with a police officer giving a cigarette to a teen. I could go on and on. All this material is pervasive throughout the entire movie and there is an underlying misogynism. Super-Bad contains an implicit message (read "hard to see") that relationships formed during inebriated sex are not likely to be successful. One of the characters (a girl who doesn’t drink) actually refuses sex because she doesn’t want to have it while the boy is drunk. But I’m not sure how many teens watching the movie would actually remember this given the other overwhelming material. Now, I’m not a prude. I have no problem with sex, drugs, alcohol, and male anatomy in the appropriate narrative context. It just seems to me that contemporary American comedy writers seem to have arrived at a place where they think that if they put more and more of these in a movie that it makes a great comedy. The disturbing thing is that there seemed to be people in my cinema who loved it! Now that’s a worry! Super-Bad is crude, ugly, unfunny, and a waste of two hours. Go see something else! My Rating: ** (out of 5) Positive Review ’For pure laughs, for the experience of just sitting in a chair and breaking up every minute or so, Superbad is 2007’s most successful comedy.’ - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle Negative Review ’Superbad simply isn’t. It isn’t super, as it intersperses crudely funny gags with an equal number of dry spots. It isn’t ever truly bad, because even the lame segments pass quickly.’ - Lawrence Toppman/Charlotte Observer Content Advice pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image - all involving teens AUS: MA USA: R


  1. No way man. Superbad kicks ass! Best movie ever made about High School.

  2. I totally agree with this review. Superbad is about objectifying women and glorifying drug and underage alcohol use. Anyone should be able to see this

  3. Superbad rocks. You god-botherers are al the same