Thursday 27 April 2017

The Night Before movie review: 'chaotic, stoner bro comedy that borrows from every other chaotic, stoner bro comedy in the history of chaotic, stoner bro comedies'

The Night Before
The Night Before

Chris Wasser

A gang of lads on the tear at Christmas, sporting silly jumpers and carrying out sillier traditions? No, this isn’t a weekend in Temple Bar in December; this is The Night Before, a chaotic, stoner bro comedy that borrows from every other chaotic, stoner bro comedy in the history of chaotic, stoner bro comedies.

3*

The difference is that it’s set on December 24 and, well, there are all sorts of crude and uproarious, tinsel-coated shenanigans. Seth Rogen freaking out on ‘shrooms in a crowded church, for example. Or his mates performing Kanye West’s Runaway on a big keyboard mat. Oh yes, this is the kind of movie where no amount of alcohol or class A narcotics can break our protagonists down. They just keep on rockin’ hard — sometimes, with Miley Cyrus. It’s kinda hilarious.

The gist here is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s heartbroken loser Ethan is a 30-something orphan desperately clinging on to the only good thing in his world — festive pints with his buds, famous footballer Chris (Anthony Mackie) and dad-to-be Isaac (Seth Rogen). Life’s moving on, and much to Ethan’s disappointment, this is to be their last hoo-hah. They might as well go out on a high — and that they do (Isaac pretty much spends the entire film on drugs).

Our boys smash it up at a karaoke bar. They stop for supper and Nintendo at Chris’s mum’s gaff. Ethan picks a fight with Santa. Eventually, they find The Nutcracker Ball (aka, the greatest party in NYC). A brilliant Michael Shannon pops up as a weed dealer named Mr Green, old flames are reignited and Rogen, Mackie and Gordon-Levitt appear to be having a blast as they learn some important life lessons. For example, Miley Cyrus is actually pretty funny. Huh.

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