Superbad might sound like a cross between American Pie and Porky’s, with a smattering of every other teen comedy ever made, and that’s because, basically, that’s exactly what it is. Originality is not the film’s strong point and it’s undeniably crass — as co-writer Seth Rogen cheerfully admitted to Screenjabber recently.
In its defence though, you’ll only notice the complete lack of originality when you stop laughing. Which, if you see it this weekend, will probably be about a week next Tuesday. Even overlooking the almost constant knob gags — which are so relentless at times that they almost beat you into submission (and please excuse that mental image) — the sparky dialogue between the friends — named after co-writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, which no doubt speaks volumes for the film’s horny teenage accuracy — is where the film’s charms really lie. And, as with Judd Apatow’s comedies, you don’t have to scratch too deep to find the film’s really rather poignant heart.
This culminates in a drunken moment of male bonding which will stop you in your tracks, a remarkable achievement in any film but one that’s just spent 100 minutes discussing the ‘pounding’ of ‘vag’? That’s genius, my friends. On balance, Knocked Up is probably still the more complete experience, but Superbad pushes it a close second. Funny, sweet and, while Rogen and the ever-reliable Bill Hader may almost steal the film as two less-than-authoritative policemen, it’s the relationship between Cera and Hill that you’ll remember.
EXTRAS *** Loads, basically, but it's a bit of a mixed bag, quality-wise. Loads of deleted scenes and extra scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew commentaries, several making-of documentaries, audition tapes, script read-throughs, on-set diaries, 'Cop Car Confessions' in which Rogen's and Hader's characters pick up assorted comedy actors and performers riffing, and assorted oddities, such as 'Snakes on Jonah' (Jonah Hill facing his fear of assorted creatures) and the well observed 'Everybody Hates Michael Cera', a spoof documentary that does exactly what it says on the disc.