The Night Before review: ‘Probably most people’s idea of a nightmare’

09:19 07 December 2015

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie in The Night Before. Picture: Sarah Shatz/Columbia Pictures

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie in The Night Before. Picture: Sarah Shatz/Columbia Pictures

© 2015 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This is a Christmas comedy that delivers lots of ho ho ho, but precious little in the way of good cheer, writes Michael Joyce.

The last time Gordon-Levitt, Rogen and Levine teamed up, in 50/50, JG-L was battling to survive cancer. His lot has definitely picked up this time round: now he’s one of three buddies who for the last time are observing a seasonal tradition to go out and get wrecked together in New York on Christmas Eve.

The idea of a comedy, featuring most of the people behind The Interview, that riffs on themes from A Christmas Carol but includes copious swearing, drug use and anti-social behaviour, is probably many people’s idea of a nightmare, but the film is more of a bad dream; specifically the bad dream where you are trying to get somewhere but you never get anywhere. At the start Levitt acquires tickets for a highly secret, Eyes Wide Shut type party that he has always wanted to go to. Then of course the film is taken up with the mishaps that prevent them from getting there.

The problem with the movie is that the audiences comes to share the frustration the characters feel at not getting there because the ruses the script uses to stop them are so weak. The comedy is also tiredly familiar. Seth Rogen spends the whole movie taking drugs and speculating about what it would be like to have sex with a man – as he does in every movie he makes. He is though by far the best thing in the film and has a couple of hilarious moments of Jewish crucifixion guilt.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

Devotees of the late pop star are asking the City of London for a commemorative bench in George Michael’s “favourite park” for his fans to pay tribute to him

A man was beaten to death with a shopping trolley handle during a row, between two groups of youths in Willesden, a court heard.

Theodore Johnson, 63, appeared at the Old Bailey this morning charged with murdering the 51-year-old last month.

Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland will join traders and members of the Camden Neighbourhood Policing team this Wednesday in the Belsize Kitchen.

16:30

An influential publisher and Samuel Pepys enthusiast who lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb for 50 years has died.

Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou says it will be difficult to improve on Saturday’s performance against Soham Town Rangers after his side triumphed 6-0 at Coles Park and moved within a point of the play-off spots in Ryman League Division One North.

14:11

Homeless people in Camden are to be offered extra support as temperatures drop below zero.

13:02

Not for the first time this season, Arsenal did it the hard way.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now