Wednesday, 27 February 2008

DVD: Superbad

Lowdown: Socially challenged teenagers trying to score through the acquisition of alcohol.
Review:
I admit it. There is not that much I have to say about Superbad: I've rented it because I've heard it's a funny film and a good one at that; after watching it my opinion is that it is, indeed, a funny film - albeit not that funny. I also suspect that you need to be about half my age to think about it in terms of "wow, what a good film Superbad is", because to me it felt like a slightly better version of American Pie: Silly comedy about useless teenagers trying to score which will make you laugh, but is, overall, pretty silly.
The story features two main teenage characters. One is Seth, who dreams about sex wherever and whenever he is; the other is Evan, who is more of a softish kind of a fellow. They're as close as friends can be, but now they are about to graduate high school and go their separate ways to different colleges. Other than that, they're both socially inept and totally obsessed with scoring: Seth with anyone who looks like she came out of a porn magazine, while Evan has his mind on a teenage friend.
As the film starts we learn that an even geekier friend of theirs, Fogell, is about to acquire a fake ID that will allow him to put his hands on some alcohol. Seth and Evan immediately start spreading promises to bring over alcohol to a party featuring their kind of chicks, and from there onwards the film follows their adventures as the acquisition of alcohol turns out to be much harder than anyone could have imagined (other than the sick minds who wrote the script). The bulk of the movie and the bulk of the jokes are in that section of the film, and a lot of it revolves around Fogell's encounter with a couple of rather useless cops.
The element that differentiates Superbad from your average American Pie sequel is that Superbad features a built in redemption. At the risk of spoiling the film for you (not), Seth and Evan learn that alcohol won't get them laid or make them happy and that their friendship is the most important thing for them. Thing is, that side of the film is so well camouflaged by the alcohol acquisition silly journey bit that it becomes irrelevant and quite unnoticeable; it's not what you'll remember Superbad for. Superbad is a film you remember for the laughs you'd get after Seth finds himself in a mess when a party he invades to steal alcohol from ends up in a brawl after he has a very close dance with the host's fiance and finds a blood stain on his pants (the result of a time-of-the-month thing). That's what Superbad is about.
Talking about that particular scene, I have to say that I was surprised at how much I found myself identifying with Superbad's heroes. Not that I was ever a maniac like them; I was, however, just as socially successful, and like them I often found comfort hanging out in the company of my peers. Call it the brotherhood of the geeks if you like.
Best scene: Fogell's fake ID is an Hawaiian organ donor card under the name of McLovin. Every time he waved the card or had himself referred to as McLovin I found myself laughing, especially when the cops took it for real.
Picture quality: Low level of detail, washed up colors.
Sound quality: As ordinary as a film can get.
Overall: Not my type of film, even though it made me laugh. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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