The Night Before DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist

The Premise
Ethan (Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) have been friends since childhood, and for a decade, their yearly Christmas Eve reunion has been an annual night of debauchery and hilarity. Now that they're entering adulthood, the tradition is coming to an end, and to make it as memorable as possible, they set out to find the Nutcracka Ball - the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.

The Review
At this time of year, Christmas movies are inevitable… For the most part they are normally those lovely safe family films that we can all sit around and enjoy with Hot Cocoa and chocolate biscuits.  Well that was until Bad Santa came along. Now we are seeing more edgy adult oriented Christmas films coming out and here comes the latest, The Night Before. This is a film with plenty of edgy comedy, a splattering of somewhat tongue in cheek religious humour and a lot of in your face irreverent humour. There are plenty of laughs here and as with pretty much all films starring Seth Rogen, drugs will be taken. This is not a film for the sensitive soul or those with a righteous spirit. That is not meant as a dig at anyone. Every person must choose wisely as to what films/TV shows etc they can handle and would appeal to them. If you are offended by sexual humour, drug references and bad language this film is not for you.

Having said that, if you have enjoyed films such as the Pineapple Express and This Is The End, this will be a film that will tickle your fancy. With Jonathan Levine in the director’s chair, there is a little more cleverness with a touch of depth added to the film. His previous outings such as 50/50 and Warm Bodies brought some interesting thoughtfulness to the somewhat black comedy genre, and while this is a comedy of naughty proportions, this is also something to change what we perceive as the blurring of the lines between friend’s roles and that of family. For many people in today’s world their friends become their family, while their family become acquaintances.

I loved the humour in this film even though at time you do go “oh what am I laughing at?” Director Jonathan Levine revealed on Collider that all of the film's comedy was mostly improvised and the dramatic moments were stuck to the written script, which he admitted it was more like an outline guide. Plus set in New York there are plenty of iconic NY Christmas locations utilised and a lot of modern day Christmas traditions... Put on some crazy Christmas jumpers and you have a good night out.. Plus there are a stack of celebrity cameos including Miley Cyrus and ... I can't say others but I will say that Michael Shannon is spectaular in a role that is hard to describe to those who have not yet seen the film.

There are many references to "Die Hard" including a character falling off a building invoking the name Hams Gruber, the music to Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and characters singing RunDMC's "Christmas in Hollis". See a sneak of this from their time on LipSync Battles...

The Verdict
Rudely funny and a welcome change from the usual sappy Christmas films.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 2nd March 2016
Rating: R16 -  Contains Sex scenes, sex content, drug use & offensive language
Duration: 101 minutes 
Genre:  Comedy
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jillian Bell, Lizzie Caplan and Anthony Mackie
Director: Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50)

The Extras

Third collaboration with Seth Rogen and Lizzy Caplan. They've worked together in Freaks and Geeks and The Interview.

This is the second collaboration between Anthony Mackie and Michael Shannon the first being 8 Mile.

This will be Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon's second collaboration. The other being 50/50.