Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Scarlett Johansson – Jess
Jillian Bell – Alice
Kate McKinnon – Pippa
Ilana Glazer – Frankie
Zoë Kravitz – Blair
Paul W. Downs – Peter
Demi Moore – Lea
Ty Burrell – Pietro
If I had any hopes before entering the auditorium of Rough Night being one of the funniest movies I’ve seen recently, they were firmly dashed as I took my seat and the feature began. As though God himself had reached into the cinema and pulled my humor out, I sat for a good 80% of Rough Night arms folded, slightly squinting at the action unfolding on screen. It was beyond dire, with a plot very poorly acted out. I think my main reaction was total surprise – at how Johansson was caught up in such an immature shit storm of a movie.
This was one of THE WORST excuses for a comedy I have ever sat through..
For starters, the death scene is just awful. Instead of allowing a moment for tension or seriousness the movie decides to try and be continuously funny as the man dies. I get that this is a comedy, but something didn’t feel right – especially as any tension was also snuffed out by Pippa as she stood accessing YouTube on her mobile phone, subsequently mentioning something about an advert on her screen for toilet paper..? And then the camera focuses on Alice as she begins stuffing pizza into her mouth as a way of coping with the stress.
I was lost. Both plot-wise and production-wise. Lost.
You know when a movie consists of a ridiculous undercurrent, but it goes a step too far and becomes worse than ridiculous? Becomes insufferable? Rough Night is a prime example of this, and it’s a shame because the movie uses the likes of Bell who – in other movies – has been great. This however, was something else. You have two of the girls running around trying to come up with a plan to dispose of the body, the other two hanging around in the background as if they just don’t give a shit (both character and actor).
Blair (Kravitz) is then sent off by the group to have a threesome with the swingers nextdoor in order to infiltrate their security system (cue a sickly bizarre moment when Demi Moore eats pussy). The group of girls then take a speedboat out to sea to carry out their plan with Pippa performing a strange stunt when the vehicle skims onto the sand..
..it’s all a complete fucking car crash of a movie. A total shambles, resulting in a showdown with a few ‘bad guys’ whose idea of ambushing five girls is to tie them up with a single length of rope, like something from a Spaghetti Western. The girls slide incredibly easily into the trap too, making annoyingly minimal effort to get away. Rough Night is like a pantomime for adults; it borders on that ridiculous reality and mixes in a drop of dirtiness – because it can. If this movie was a live show you’d probably have jeers coming from the crowd, applause where necessary and audience participation during the scene where the women ditch the dead body. This movie doesn’t have a solid movie feel to it; it’s shabby and if you look closely you’ll see the structure of it is built from more improvisation than devised performance.
This movie is one to destroy the career of Kate McKinnon. She is absolutely fantastic in Rough Night, but is a golden example of a good actor plonked in an awful production; you just want to reach into the screen and save them – because they can do so much better than this movie.
As Pippa the woman is flawless.. Superb. Her performance used to portray the Aussie hippy makes a very convincing show. McKinnon clearly absorbs the characteristics of a mid-thirties bohemian and presents them very convincingly. When I think back to Office Christmas Party last year:
And then think of Rough Night this year:
I am completely assured that Kate McKinnon is one of the most skilled and versatile actors I have ever seen in the movies, gifting us viewers nothing but comedic talent. She’s a bloody gem. BUT – she’s part of Rough Night. And I dislike this fact. As mentioned above, this is one of those casting situations where a fantastic performer has been put in a terrible movie. So whilst I enjoyed the woman’s antics, my entertainment was quashed the second the camera returned to the likes of Frankie (Glazer), who spends her time wandering around the set looking like Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You (the resemblance is uncanny).
Rough Night is absolutely shocking, with one of the leading stars being a wasted talent and another who shouldn’t be there at all. Johansson is a fish out of water here, this really isn’t her kind of movie. The woman should stick to more serious stories (she doesn’t quite nail being hilarious), and something was wrong here with her portrayal of an unguarded young fiancé. She just couldn’t pull it off, coming across as stupid rather than vulnerable.
The relationship between the girls seems confused too; the characters are two-faced to each other. Mixed aggression / friendship takes charge here as one second two of them are giving each other dirty looks – the next they’re giggling and embracing each other. This theme in the story seems almost irrelevant.
Plot-wise, you’re in for a treat if you expect absolutely nothing. Because although Rough Night consists of a very serious scenario like someone being killed, it glazes over this by throwing a load of girly shit at the screen and 80% of your viewing time is made up of adult females fannying about, not doing much. Some movies excel at being black comedies, whereas this one flops at it – and isn’t much of a comedy either.
Harsh but true. Avoid at all costs.