Movie Review: “Rough Night”
Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is getting married soon and is running for office so she does not want anything crazy for her bachelorette party. Her college friends have other plans. Alice (Jillian Bell), Blair (Zoe Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer) plan a night of clubbing in Miami where they are joined by Jess' Australian friend, Pippa (Kate McKinnon). The group does cocaine then secretly orders a stripper for Jess that is when the night becomes a night they will never forget. An accident results in the death of the stripper. With illegal drugs and a dead stripper on their place, the women decide that they cannot go to the police. Instead they must find a way to get rid of the body before anyone finds out what happened. This unfortunately turns out to be much more difficult that any of the women could have anticipated and could mean the end of Jess' marriage (as well as her career).
The Pros & Cons
Kate McKinnon (+10pts)
Peter & Bachelor Party (+2pts)
Pro: Kate McKinnon (+10pts)
Easily the funniest part of this movie, Kate McKinnon saves most of this film. The movie gets significantly better as soon as her character makes her first appearance and, whenever the movie tries to focus on the plot, Kate McKinnon keeps the comedy coming. Kate McKinnon is always over-the-top. For some movies, cough "Ghostbusters", her presence can feel out of place and unnatural. For this movie, her presence saves the film. Her character is crazy, her character is weird and she provides the best comedy of the movie. I think this would have been a much more boring or generic movie if Kate McKinnon was not in it.
Con: Setup (-5pts)
This movie was about an hour and forty minutes but it could, and should, have been twenty minutes shorter. The movie spends just a little too much time setting everything up. We get setup for: Jess' career, Jess' relationship, Alice, Blair, Frankie, the group's college days, and then getting settled in Miami. Some setup was necessary, some was not but the problem came from having no real comedy (at least none that connected with the audience). Once this movie gets going, it gets pretty entertaining, it just takes a little too long to find its footing.
Pro: Climax (+4pts)
While the setup for this movie was pretty weak, the climax of the film was pretty entertaining and chaotic. I do not want to get into the details to avoid spoilers but a lot goes down at the end of this movie. Some of it is predictable, some of it happens in ways you do not expect but I thought the climax of this movie worked well. It had me laughing and it had me on the edge of my seat, wondering how the rest would go down.
Con: Alice (-4pts)
This character was written pretty poorly in this movie. Normally I like Jillian Bell quite a bit. She has been funny in most movies I have seen her in. In this movie, her comedy felt desperate and it, mostly, did not work for me. I felt as though her character did not fit with the rest of the characters. I also thought that Kate McKinnon used up most of the comedic relief for the movie which left Jillian Bell's character feeling forced into the story. Again, my issue was not with Jillian Bell herself, but I thought Alice's comedy felt desperate and out-of-place in this film.
Pro: Peter & Bachelor Party (+2pts)
Definitely one of the funniest elements of the movie, Peter (Paul W. Downs) is marrying Jess. As the movie shows the chaos occurring at the bachelorette party, it randomly cuts to the (not as exciting) bachelor party which provides for some fun comedic moments. Then, as the bachelorette party takes a turn for the worse, Peter grows concerned and begins his own crazy journey that is filled with comedy. Let me just say "diapers" (you will know why that's funny if you see this movie). While Peter's storyline was very entertainin, the movie obviously focuses way more on the bachelorette party. That is the only reason I did not designate many points to Peter and storyline.
Con: Generic (-6pts)
This movie's biggest issue was that it seemed to try too hard to be the next The Hangover, but it just was not. The Hangover was a raunchy, non-stop and unpredictable comedy. This movie (Rough Night) had a slow start, and had the same (now generic) "crazy" plot points with the same (now overly saturated) raunchy comedy. This movie tries hard to be the next extremely popular, non-stop, raunchy comedy but it fails to deliver anything fresh. It gives the expected comedy and the expected "craziness" but the unique elements were few and far between.
Grade: C+ (76pts)
Was this a bad movie? No. It has some very entertaining moments and some entertaining characters. Kate McKinnon brings her best and this movie is better for it. She is nuts, she is crazy, she is weird and she is so much fun to watch in this film. rest of the main cast, however, do not bring anything special. The movie's biggest problem was that it was too generic and that it was trying too hard to be the next big hit, raunchy comedy. Instead, it came across as being desperate to do so which ended up causing it to fall short. This movie does have its moments; Kate McKinnon, the bachelor party, and the climax of the film all made for entertaining comedic moments but the movie deserved to be shortened down to allow those comedic moments to resonate better with the audience.
All in all, this movie is not bad but it has its problems. For that, I do not recommend seeing it in theaters and wasting your money. I think it is more suited to be watched at home on Netflix or video onDemand. I think audiences will enjoy it more in that setting, where they can watch it at their own pace and spend less of their hard earned money.