FILM TRAILER AND REVIEW: Adventureland - Cert 15

FROM the director of the surprisingly hilarious Superbad comes a new smash hit comedy in much the same teenagers being teenagers vein. I word that like it s a bad thing but it seems to have worked really well la

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FROM the director of the surprisingly hilarious Superbad comes a new smash hit comedy in much the same 'teenagers being teenagers' vein.

I word that like it's a bad thing but it seems to have worked really well last time and although the cast this time doesn't seem as desirable or charming (although Michael Cera has gradually reduced himself to such a dire indie credentials list that he's gone from Arrested Development hero to a little cringe-worthy) I think it could still be a good laugh.

Leading the cast is relative unknown Jesse Eisenberg, whose previous incarnations include a supporting role in the sublime 2005 drama The Squid And The Whale and a minor role in the dire M Night Shyamalan feature The Village, and although technically unproven in the comedy genre he seems likeable and this could be the ideal vehicle for him to become part of the new comedy A-list (currently inhabited by a majority of the Superbad cast, and previously by the folk of American Pie).

Kristen Stewart, of new fangled pre-teen favourite Twilight, co-stars too. This ought to excite a certain crowd, only to disappoint them when they see the '15' certificate.

It's always good for a solid, laugh-out-loud comedy to spend its time in the Autumn cinema schedule - to while away those windy blues with a cinematic laugh is always a pleasure. Let's hope this is it.

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Thoughts Afterwards

This is not the comedy to regain those red-leaved, post-summer blues.

What's billed as a comedy by the trailer, by the press and by the poster is a complete victim of false advertising. This has subtle hints of comedy occasionally but has the yawn-worthy.

The movie painfully follows the exploits of the unlikeable James, a graduate whose plans to travel Europe fall through thanks to money problems and he's forced to get a job in a theme park (called Adventureland!). The plot truly evolves when he meets the popular Em (Kristen Stewart) and dutifully falls in love with her (well, that love that young adults feel after about a week). We then roll on a whole summer of ups and downs - and that's not just the rollercoaster's!

Where this movie fails most of all is that every single character is so damn unlikeable. From the blissfully na�ve James (played by the rather simple Jesse Eisenberg) who constantly states his virginity, his failings and yet for all his faults somehow gets the attention from every female in the park.

And then we have the amazingly dull Em Lewin, apparently the main heroine in the piece... even though she's as dull as a dishcloth and has so many flaws it's impossible to rue the positive portrayal she somehow has in this. Kristen Stewart once more exerts a completely boring performance, emanating the exuberance of a non-speaking extra and bringing nothing to the character or the movie at all. I'd like to say her radiating beauty saved the part but, well, it doesn't and I can't help but think she was badly mis-cast.

The rest of the cast do just as badly, and unlike Superbad, there wasn't one performance that is worth remembering from any of the bit parts.

I've been harsh to a number of movies in my time reviewing the cinema releases this year. From the genuinely wasteful Hotel For Dogs to the horribly distasteful Last House On The Left - both of which I'd rate as the worst movies I've seen this year - but with Adventureland I really think I have a contender for the worst movie I've ever seen. Not only did it not interest me, with characters that just ooze badly written flaws, but also it was genuinely painful to watch until the very end. The big screen done it wrong, exaggerating the badly filmed settings, and as I was forced to watch the cinemagoers walk out I watched on.

I'm surprised by the stamina I withheld to sit through this. As the first hour passed by, my concentration withering as the drama unfolded in such cringe-worthy and unrealistic ways, I struggled to sit through the second painful hour. You can tell that director Greg Mottola tried to add an element of depth with some of his cast and plot choices but every one of them come across as slightly embarrassing additions that just added another layer of uninterested cynicism to the viewer.

I wish that this were a good movie, because it's been a while since a genuinely funny movie has entered the UK cinema (as Bruno was also fairly disappointing). But this is definitely not, at all, a laugh-out-loud movie and I struggle to think of any sane audience that would want to see this- except maybe those who would like to see the dire teenage drama seen commonly in Hollyoaks on the big screen.

Seriously if you're planning to see this then really give this a second look. If you really need to then save your money at least and watch it when it's out on DVD, it's really, really not worth your money and is literally as much fun as those terrible fairground rides that visit Cambridgeshire every few months. Avoid.


1/5 Stars