Blu-ray Review Comedy

'Rough Night' Blu-ray Review: A raunchy comedy that hilariously overturns gender stereotypes

September 26, 2017Ben MK

If Wonder Woman has taught Hollywood and the moviegoing public anything, it's that traditionally male-dominated genres can benefit immensely from a little female perspective. Likewise, there's a similar lesson to be gleaned from Rough Night, a raunchy, female-driven comedy that sets out to upend the genre's usual gender stereotypes — one dirty, R-rated cliché at a time.

In it, Scarlett Johansson plays career-minded workaholic Jessica Thayer, a state senate nominee who's also engaged to a great, but extremely buttoned-down guy named Peter (Paul W. Downs, who also co-wrote the film). Things weren't always this way, however. Flashback a decade and Jessica and her college posse, Alice (Jillian Bell), Blair (Zoë Kravitz) and Frankie (Ilana Glazer), were more concerned with frat parties than studying. Although you could argue that they were already keen on beating guys at their own game, which, back then, happened to be beer pong.

Now, with Jess' nuptials fast approaching, Alice has decided to throw her BFF a no-holds-barred sendoff, organizing for the four besties — plus Aussie free spirit, Pippa (Kate McKinnon, turning her character's over-the-top accent into a running gag) — a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami filled with cocaine, clubbing and, of course, male stripping. Their fun takes a dark and bloody turn, however, when the dude that shows up at their door ends up the wrong kind of stiff, sending the ladies into panic mode as they scramble to avoid involuntary manslaughter charges.

In the comedic chaos that ensues, director/co-writer Lucia Aniello (of Comedy Central's Broad City) borrows from the likes of Bridesmaids and The Hangover, and the outcome ranges from formulaically ho-hum to laugh-out-loud subversive. Yet, even though Rough Night does suffer from some incongruent mashing-together of plot points, styles and tones, it generally proves to be more than the sum of its parts, thanks to a deliciously game cast, some hilarious, non sequitur humor and a willingness to go balls-out on its premise.

Rough Night arrives on Blu-ray with a technical presentation that, for the most part, stands up to scrutiny. Some minor aliasing aside, this is a top-notch transfer, full of crystal-clear detail and rich and vibrant colors, thanks to the gang's colorful wardrobe (which boasts no shortage of bright pinks, purples and blues) and the neon lights of nightclubs along the Miami strip. Likewise, the film's primarily dialogue-driven sound design comes through loud and clear thanks to the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix, backed by the sounds of dance and electronic music, as well as background ambience from airports, restaurants and ocean waves gently rolling ashore.

Sony's single-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes an UltraViolet digital copy and the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Deleted Scenes (9:24) - Eleven scenes ("Sunset," "Singer/Songwriter," "Club Intro," "Patio Fire Dancing," "Stripper Shows It All," "Blair and Frankie Talk," "Moving the Body," "Taking Out the Trash," "Drive Down the Miami Drag," "Alice Checks on the Real Scotty" and "News Report")
  • Scandalous Sing-Along (1:26) - A karaoke-style video for Kate McKinnon's character's song from the end of the movie.
  • Naughty Neighbor Diaries (4:33) - Ty Burrell and Demi Moore star in this pair of faux videos for a dating service ("Video Dating Profile" and "'Open Says Me' Questionnaire").
  • Gag Reel (4:13) - Flubs and goofs from the set.
  • Improv-O-Rama (8:37) - The cast improvise their lines.
  • Killer Cast (7:53) - A featurette focusing on the casting of Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, Demi Moore and Ty Burrell.
  • The Dynamic Duo: Lucia and Paul (4:59) - A piece about what screenwriter/actor Paul W. Downs and director Lucia Aniello bring to the film.
  • Playing Dead (2:40) - Actor Ryan Cooper talks about playing a dead male stripper in the film.
  • Do a Little Dance (3:03) - A behind-the-scenes look at the making of a night club dance scene.

Rough Night is available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as of September 5th, 2017. The Blu-ray features English, French, Italian and Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English, English SDH, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 41 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on June 15th, 2017.

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