The Afterparty, review: thumpingly awful comedy whodunit feels like a bad hangover

You wake up covered in vomit, with a thumping headache and a vague sense of regret. If the creators behind booze-fuelled whodunit The Afterparty (Apple TV+) wanted to simulate the effects of a brutal hangover, they nailed the brief. Unfortunately, it makes for a distinctly unpleasant viewing experience. 

Alas, this isn’t the future of avant garde film-making, it’s just really bad comedy – the kind that makes you wonder whether you’ll ever laugh again or perhaps consider a move into violent crime. And yet, confoundingly, all the raw materials are there for something great. 

Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the duo behind off-beat comedy hits The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, are given a cast of bankable stars and gifted comic actors, along with the budget of a Hollywood blockbuster. But between the artificially elaborate plot and tedious special effects, it seems they forgot to write any jokes. 

Following a high school reunion, pop star and professional narcissist Xavier (Dave Franco) invites his old classmates to a lavish after-party at his futuristic cliffside mansion. At the end of the night – leaving a trail of possible motives behind him – the shirtless poser takes a fatal tumble onto the rocks below. 

Cue the arrival of Tiffany Haddish as hapless Detective Danner and her partner, Detective Culp (John Early), who share the explosive chemistry of a damp cloth. They resolve to unmask the culprit before anyone can knock them off the case, hence our familiar mise-en-scène: a bunch of oddballs locked in a house until one of them confesses.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.