Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Night Before Review

The Night Before
Director: Jonathan Levine
Cast Headliners: Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie
Original Release Date : November 20th, 2015

  The Night Before has a fairly simple premise. After his parent's death on the holiday, a New York City guy named Ethan (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) spends every subsequent holiday getting into some extreme ruckus with his friends Isaac(Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie). This sounds like the premise to any typical Christmas comedy, but this is actually the latest in a series of collaborations between Seth Rogen and his friend and producing partner Evan Goldberg so much like their works like This is The End and The Interview one can expect an emphasis on the word “extreme.”
The film picks up years later with Isaac expecting a baby with his wife Betsy (Jillian Bell) and Chris becoming a mega NFL star. Ethan's not really gone anywhere aside still having a big crush on his ex Diana (Lizzy Caplan). This was all seen in the trailers, which is a big detraction of the film. The core plot and most of the film's jokes were seen in some amount in the several trailers released in the promotional campaign. That's not to say all the surprises and gag are ruined however, such as a couple other actors that have to be seen and some wacky happenings. The surprise that can be talked about is that the movie actually has a , albeit dumb, main McGuffin for the crew to get to the “Nutcracker Ball” as this is to be the trio's last one together as their lives change.
That story exists mainly as a thread to tie together some gags of course, but it has its good moments as mentioned. Everyone has their moment to drop a funny line or get into a strange situation, with particularly Rogen offering his usual stupid (and narcotic assisted) shenangins that will cause some chuckles to be had. It's also nice to see Anthony Mackie be in more straight up comedy after his turns in the more actiony Marvel films and dramatic roles he's been in of late as he has a knack for making one laugh. JGL's Ethan is pretty good but acts more as a bystander of events around him than a comedic standout. There's also bit roles of people like Michael Shannon of Mr.Green and Mindy Kaling's Sarah ,but their roles are ones that have to be enjoyed as they unfold.

The film is largely shown by the trailers and falls largely into the Rogen-lewd/drug-influenced/extreme shenangins style, but there's a spot or two of serious emotion speckled in and a large dollop of holiday shtick. But this movie mostly sets out to the typical bar it aims for, and offers a lot of laughs and even more silliness for better or worse along the way. 7.7 out of 10

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