Hot Take: If you loved This Is The End, you’ll enjoy but probably not love The Night Before.
If I ever get back to ranking 2013 movies, I’m pretty sure This Is The End will come in at the top of my list. It was one of the funniest movies of the last decade. Fortunately (and unfortunately), The Night Before has a similar feel. While it was a very funny holiday movie, the comparisons and the way too revealing trailers for the film stole away some of the better moments and made it feel like a regifted tale.
The good news about The Night Before is there’s plenty of reference material to draw from to determine if you’re going to like this movie. This isn’t any different than any other comedy Seth Rogen has ever done. Anthony Mackie has been in almost every movie in 2015. If you’ve seen Joseph Gordon-Levitt on a talk show appearance and enjoyed it, you’re safe here. Feeling good about twisted classic holiday stories? How about countless celebrity cameos? If none of that turns you off, The Night Before might even make your must-see holiday films in the future.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- More Comedy Hits Than Misses and Lots of Swings
The humor in The Night Before is rapid fire for the first 2/3 of the film. The first half is much funnier than the second half and delivers mostly goodies with very little coal to your viewing stocking. (Look, it’s a review of a holiday comedy. If you didn’t expect some bad Christmas puns, you haven’t been paying much attention to previous reviews.)
- Michael Shannon
If Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol was a drug dealer, he’d be Michael Shannon in The Night Before. Shannon is consistently a bright spot of everything he is in and it shows no signs of slowing down.
- A Genre That Doesn’t Get Stale
Somehow there’s always room for funny holiday films. While this isn’t as funny as Elf, it has plenty of moments of hilarity to keep you laughing all the way until Christmas.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Repackaged Laughs
Some of the writing felt a bit lazy as we’ve seen writer Evan Goldberg do better party jokes, better jokes involving blood and better cameos. These moments were funny in The Night Before but funnier in the movie before.
- Too Many Storylines
The movie veers off into too many directions and the neatly wrapped bow it tries to put on the final package looks more like a knot.
- What’s With the Way Films Portray Guys Playing Video Games?
Sorry but these scenes are almost as bad as poker scenes in movies.