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Superbad

Superbad

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES (Unrated McLovin Cut – Double Disc Set): Audio Commentary By The Filmmakers & Cast; The Vag-tastic Voyage; Cop Car Confessions; Line-o-rama; Gag Reel; Everyone Hates Michael Cera; Snakes On Jonah; Dancing Title Sequence; On Set Diaries; TV Safe Lines; Cast Auditions; Deleted & Extended Scenes; Press Junket Meltdown; Michael’s Voice Mails from Jonah; Original Table Read ‘Seth Reads Seth’; The Music of Superbad; Table Read 2006.

IF Knocked Up properly gave birth to the comedic talent that is Seth Rogen, then Superbad confirms that he totally owns the summer of 2007.

Rogen co-stars in and wrote this semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale that easily lays claim to being the best teen movie since Jason Biggs shagged a pie.

Like Knocked Up, Superbad is rude, hilarious but totally heartfelt, so that no matter how outrageous the pranks and pitfalls of its three protagonists, you can’t help but root for them as well.

The film picks up as lifelong buddies Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) prepare to go their separate ways at college by losing their virginity at the year-end party.

Charged with getting the booze for the occasion, the duo enlist the help of nerdy colleague Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and his fake ID.

But matters take a turn for the surreal when the trio become separated following a misunderstanding at a supermarket that finds Fogell pairing up with two out-of-control police officers (played by Rogen and Bill Hader) and Seth and Evan taking the long way round to their final destination.

On the face of it, Superbad is a lot more puerile than its older cousin (Knocked Up), focusing on boob and dick jokes and gross out situations to draw its biggest laughs. But beneath the lusty bravado is a touching best friends story as well.

For all Seth’s loud-mouthed tirades and crushing put-downs, he clearly cares for his best friend Evan, while suffering from all the insecurities of adolescence to boot. And Evan, for his part, offers a painfully sensitive contrast to Seth as he fumbles his way to winning the girl of his dreams.

Fogell, meanwhile, is an absolute riot, especially when paired with madcap police duo Rogen and Hader, whose badass antics have to be seen to be believed.

Director Greg Mottola, working from Rogen’s clever script, keeps the jokes flying thick and fast and even tackles some no-no’s (period stains, anyone?) – but he expertly brings things to a nice conclusion without feeling the need to become overly sentimental.

The overall result offers the kind of comedic blast not enjoyed since the last Seth Rogen outing. Given that Judd Apatow also produces, it’s now belly-achingly clear who to turn to when you need those spirits raised.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 113mins