The Night Before

Ho ho ho and a big jolly sack of shrooms dear peeps. Seth Rogen is back for his latest stoner toilet humour movie and he brings along with him Joseph (JK loves) Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackle for some Christmas eve cheer. Sadly I triple booked myself on this night without consulting the diary and Kernel Blake scored the lucky laughter. THE NIGHT BEFORE is out now thanks to the peeps at Sony Pictures Australia, it runs for 101mins and is rated MA15+. Enjoy Blake’s review and have a smashing silly season……….much cheer………JK.

 

the night before movie poster image
The Night Before | Salty Popcorn Movie Review | Movie Poster image

 

BY BLAKE CURRALL

Christmas. It is a time of giving, spending time with family, dick jokes and tripping balls on every drug imaginable. Wait, what?! In the world of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the minds behind THE NIGHT BEFORE and BAD NEIGHBOURS (NEIGHBORS for our illiterate American buddies), there is no room for a silent night, holy night. Instead, their ode to Christmas is all you would expect from this writing team, who specialize in the rude and crude, bringing us their unique R rated take on the festive season.

Luckily, that’s right up my alley but for those of you who aren’t fans of Rogen’s stoner comedy efforts in the past, there isn’t much here that will change your mind, as the goofy lump is on fine form teaming up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt (THE WALK) and Anthony Mackie (CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER) as a group of friends looking to end a decade long Christmas tradition with one helluva night.

 

Anthony Mackie in The Night Before image
The Night Before | Salty Popcorn Movie Review | Anthony Mackie with a Reindeer

 

Beginning ten years in the past, narrated by a familiar voice to fans of SNL and 30 Rock, this “A Christmas Carol” style opening (rhymes included) shows our three main friends coming together after a tragic event robs Gordon-Levitt’s Ethan of his family and Christmas spirit. With his two buddies forming a new family, the lads begin a tradition of spending the festive season together, getting drunk and having a good time.

When they stumble across a group of folk who have just come from the super exclusive, invite only ‘greatest party of all time’ Ethan, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) make it their mission to find their way onto the guest list. A mission they spend the next ten years trying to achieve, with no luck.

Flash forward to the present day and Isaac is now a psychiatrist with a newborn on the way and Chris has just hit the big time in the NFL. The two of them are embarking on new chapters of their lives and are looking to put an end to their tradition of supporting Ethan through the tough time of year, as a way of helping him to get out of his rut of being a struggling musician who pines for the girl that got away.

 

the night before movie image
The Night Before | Salty Popcorn Movie Review | Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie

 

However when Ethan stumbles across the holy grail of tickets to the infamous Nutcracker Ball, their ‘last’ Xmas together takes a turn and the guys look to go out in a blaze of glory. Fueled with a gift box from Isaac’s wife, including every drug on the planet and copious amounts of Red Bull from a lucrative sponsorship deal for Chris, our three wise men embark on their journey to the promised land of wine, women and fun.

Assisted by their benevolent weed dealer, the imaginatively named Mr Green (Michael Shannon – MAN OF STEEL) the night goes from better-to-bad-to-worse with Rogen going balls out nuts on too many ‘shrooms, enough Bolivian Marching Powder to knockout a rhino and whatever else he can stick into his face. Chris, whose ‘social media game is TIGHT!’ splits run in’s with exuberant fans with the pressures of fame, while Ethan tries to hold the group together at the same time as going after his one true love. With the friendship threatening to implode and the three friends looking to move on with their own lives, it will take a Christmas miracle, with a liberal dosing of drugs, to keep this family together.

 

the night before movie image
The Night Before | Salty Popcorn Movie Review | Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie

 

Needless to say, there are plenty of laughs to be had as the hijinks do indeed ensue, with Rogen hilarious as a guy struggling to come to terms with impending parenthood while also being the highest person on the planet, a scene in a church later in the film is priceless. Mackie makes a surprisingly good comedic turn in this after the last few years being Captain America’s sidekick but it is Gordon-Levitt’s return to the comedy genre where he first began, that brings real heart and emotion to the role.

This is a Christmas movie at heart, much like the aforementioned A Christmas Carol, it just happens to throw in plenty of humour, drug references, anatomy lesson and a few great cameos to balance out the schmaltzy Christmas film clichés that inevitably make their way into the films happy ending. Which in the case of these film makers, is surprisingly not sexual inyourendo.

No, this is not the best Christmas movie ever made, that title is still held by DIE HARD, but it is a fun, funny and touching film of friends, family and the holiday spirit. If you’re not a fan of Rogen and his team, it probably won’t appeal to you but if you have a sense of humour and don’t mind the odd penis on screen, there will be plenty here for you to enjoy with THE NIGHT BEFORE.

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life, like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. Can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

 

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