The Binge is a comedy film directed by Jeremy Garelick. The plot serves as a novel adaption of the Purge concept, however, rather than have all crime be legal for 12 hours this film imagines a world were drinking and doing drugs is totally illegal with the exception of one night a year where citizens around the world are allowed to binge drugs and alcohol to their hearts content.
This is the second film in my unintentional Vince Vaughn marathon, and I have to say Vaughn really shines here. Of course this film focuses on a group of high school boys who are planning to take full advantage of the binge whilst also being scared of it, continuing the traditions of its forbearers such as American Pie. However, Vaughn plays the principal of the school they all attend, his character is shown as very much anti-binge and he is also the father of Lena (Grace Van Dien), one of the main boy’s love interest. As a result of this Vaughn is set up for many of the best lines and is genuine hilarious multiple times over the course of the film, I especially enjoyed him as a father figure to Griffin (Skyler Gisondo), later in the film.
I also enjoyed the fact that this film was not afraid to get weird with its already terrific premise, there is a whole drug inspired dance number midway through the film that I thought was simply absurdist perfection.
The main and obvious criticism of this film is the same that can be levelled at numerous films in the sub-genre and that is the male focus, this film does not focus on both the male and female characters being rowdy, rather it uses the female characters almost as goals for the male characters or more aptly as plot devices. This is something that ‘sex comedy’ or the ‘teen’ film really needs to change as focusing on one gender over the over is reductive and it would be nice to see these sort of films start to explore both sides of the teen perspective.
Overall, if you like ‘teen’ comedies then you will like this, it has many funny moments mostly from Vaughn and has an inspired and humorous premise.
It is funny
Very male centric
Reviewed by Luke