Monday, September 7, 2020

Hulu’s alcohol infused comedy The Binge lacks any originality

© Hulu

Vince Vaughn is easily the standout in the movie as his deadpan style of comedy brings highlights to the movie.
by Justin Moore

What do you get when you cross The Purge with Superbad? You get Hulu’s newest film, The Binge. Set in a future where drinking and taking drugs is illegal except for 12 hours once a year, three friends attempt to join the biggest party of the year. Director Jeremy Garelick has no problem trying to have this film be like every other teen party movie. It borrows similar elements to films like Superbad and Booksmart, but he does it in a way that makes the film entertaining. But with a cool premise, the film lacks any original moments.

18-year-old Griffin (Skyler Gisondo), Hags (Dexter Darden), and Andrew (Eduardo Franco) are eager to attend a party since they are now able to drink during 'the binge'. In one eventful night, much like Superbad, the trio run into many mishaps that prevent them from attending the crazy party of the year or Griffin scoring with his crush, Lena. Her overprotective father, Principal Carlsen (Vince Vaughn), tries to stop his daughter from binging all night. Everyone is trying to get a hold of orange bracelets that will grant them access to the party and that is what most of the movie focuses on.

The biggest downside to this film is the lack of world building. Garelick hardly explores why the world has decided to create one night where people can drink and take drugs. Garelick is focused on crafting a teen comedy, which he does fairly well and the premise is what drew me into the film, but it hardly builds on it. There were plenty of opportunities for Garelick to explore how people feel about the binge and the results of an all-night binge.

© Hulu

The cast works well in the film with a lot of chemistry filling the runtime. Gisondo, Darden, and Franco all have different personalities but make the long night entertaining. Vince Vaughn is easily the standout in the movie as his deadpan style of comedy brings highlights to the movie. As we learn more about his past and his previous binges, he feels less of a principal and more of a friend who you would bring along to drink with. Of course, Vaughn has his moments of rambling on about random things, but he was hilarious in the film.

With a solid premise that is intriguing, I was surprised with how familiar this movie felt. Nothing about this movie stands out from other teen movies I have seen before. The premise started off strong but died off towards the end as it focused on being a straightforward teen movie. I laughed quite often and even chuckled at Hags' ridiculous vehicle that he created to get the party started. After the movie was over it did get me thinking, how much would I participate in 'the binge'?

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