I’ve never pictured an apocalyptic future without alcohol. Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to conjure visions of such a place. Thankfully, I don’t have too because The Binge has already done that. Sit back, crack open a cold one (or three), and prepare for an hour and a half of decently entertaining comedy.
Hulu’s The Binge follows a pair of best friends, one on a quest to take his crush to prom and the other on a quest to infamy. All of this culminates on Binge Night, the one night a year when drugs and alcohol are legal again. Of course, the plan falls off the rails rather quickly, but what’s life (or a movie centered around teens) without a bit of drama. A twist on The Purge, The Binge attempts to envision an America without any drugs and alcohol, a place devoid of party culture, White Claw wasted hashtags, and wine-of-the-month clubs.
Does The Binge deliver on all that it promises? Yes and no. I break the film down into the alright, the okay, and the not so great. While the film certainly isn’t winning an Oscar, it’s not totally hopeless. The Binge offers an underdog story, a teen romance, and a pinch of family drama, all wrapped up in a satirical spoof on The Purge. There’s nothing particularly deep or meaningful about any of these storylines, but I don’t think there needs to be either. In fact, it’s the simplicity of the film that’s most enjoyable. The Binge is the right kind of predictable that lets you spend roughly ninety-six minutes gloriously relaxing minutes.
The soundtrack is a fun mix of club and party music that leaves you feeling pretty groovy. Nothing you want to full-on sing to, but you might catch yourself to bopping your head or tapping your foot in a few scenes. At the very least, the music fits the party vibe of the film. Similarly, the party scene at the end somewhat lives up to the hype in the film.
Ultimately, The Binge is a watered-down comedy that makes vague commentary about the US’s war on drugs (complete with a clip from Nancy Regan’s infamous “Just Say No” campaign). This is never really resolved at the end of the movie, but the nerdy guy gets the girl and that’s all I really need.
The Bottom Line
There’s a pair of best friends, a bit of intoxicated adventure, and a sweet (oddly PG) romance. The Binge is the kind of film you can watch, enjoy, and then immediately move on from, a good palate cleanser between the news cycle and this season’s new, intense TV series.