Hulu’s ‘The Binge’ is a teen comedy that focuses on a unique premise of the world with a weird rule. In 2032, the American government has succeeded in completely banning any form of inebriation. The society has been cleansed of all drugs and alcohol. One day a year, for twelve hours, this ban is lifted and everyone above eighteen is allowed to go berserk under influence. This event is called The Binge.
The film focuses on the journey of three teenagers, and by the end of it, they find themselves completely changed by the experience of The Binge. Here’s what happens at the end. If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Hulu. SPOILERS AHEAD
Griffin is a smart and obedient student who has no intension to indulge in The Binge, as advised by Principal Carlsen, whose daughter Lena is the one Griffin is attracted to. He wants to ask her out to prom, and his best friend, Hags, convinces him that The Binge would be the perfect time to do that. Meanwhile, a secret admirer invites Lena to The Binge party, which makes Griffin agree to Hags’ plan. Along the way, Andrew tags along and gets the tickets to the craziest party of the year from his brother Seb. Hags also plans to participate in the competition that will win him the title of the legend of The Binge.
The Ending, Explained
Just when Griffin, Hags, and Andrew thought their day couldn’t have gone worse, they come across Seb and his friends. Previously, the trio had gotten their wristbands and run away after Andrew hurt everyone with his small crossbow. Now Seb has the crossbow and his team takes the trio to a restaurant where they are forced to eat the burritos laced with magic mushrooms. After that, they are taped together and rolled down the street. Their video goes viral, and they become internet celebrities. When they are finally released, the mushrooms kick in and they get incredibly high. In between that, Griffin and Hags hurt Andrew’s feelings by telling him that they only let him tag along because they wanted the wristbands. Hags is also angered by Griffin blaming him for everything and the three of them separate.
After experiencing a weird musical dream, Griffin wakes up at the Carnegie party, wearing an overall, the one that Hags had picked out for them. In its pocket, he finds a note which reveals that Hags was the one who arranged the secret admirer thing for Lena. He wanted to help Griffin in asking her out. Meanwhile, Lena receives a text where she is told that her prom date is the person in overalls. She sees Griffin and realizes that it was him all along. Griffin makes up with Hags and apologizes to him for saying all those things. They also reunite with Andrew who has somehow found his way to the party.
Griffin asks Lena to be his prom date, but before she can say anything, Carlsen arrives and tells her to come back home. Lena refuses to go with him and decides to stay at the party. In between this, Griffin, Hags, and Andrew also sign up for the legend challenge and impressed by Griffin, Carlsen decides to help them in this endeavor. It is also revealed that despite all his hatred for The Binge, Carlsen is actually The Panther, a legend in The Binge history.
After surviving several stages of the competition, they win it, and Hags’ dream of becoming a The Binge Legend is completed. Griffin gets Carlsen’s blessing and starts dating Lena. They go to prom together, with Andrew and Hags, who is now with Sarah. Whether or not they will partake in the next The Binge is not clear, but now that they have become the ultimate legends, they don’t need to go back to it. After the events of The Binge, we also see a change in Carlsen’s attitude towards the kids, and he doesn’t seem so controlling or restrictive now.
The Binge Review
‘The Binge’ recycles the concept of ‘The Purge’, where for a limited period of time something extremely illegal becomes something to celebrate. However, unlike the movie that inspires it, the comedy-drama doesn’t quite do anything with its promising premise. It provides some good laughs along the way, but overall, doesn’t succeed in leaving any mark on the audience.
The idea of getting unrestricted and unsupervised access to all sorts of drugs seems like an interesting idea, and covering this experience from the perspective of a bunch of first-timers is an exciting way to introduce such a world to the audience. The presence of Vince Vaughn as a school principal who acts Grinch and wants to steal the 12-hour Christmas of alcohol, cocaine, and every other drug from the students of American High adds a nice punch to it. Vaughn, as always, is a delight whenever he is on the screen, or at least, he tries to be with what the script allows him. The fun doesn’t last much longer in this story, and the adventure that the film promises is not really delivered. In what is an inventive premise, the story reuses the same old tricks in the book of comedy, without adding anything of its own or bringing a new spin to it.
The comedy hits in waves, and sometimes you will catch yourself laughing at the silliest of things, but as the end nears, these instances tend to disappear entirely. In fact, in what should have been the funniest sequence to wrap up a crazy night for three teenagers, the film goes into some other place with alligators, beer pongs, and ‘Scarface’ impressions, none of which succeeds in making you laugh again.
Considering everything, ‘The Binge’ could have been so much more than what it has turned out to be. If only it could dare to be more satiric or find humor in the reality of the subject that it explores, it could have had some depth. But in the absence of that, it remains just another silly, sort of buddy comedy that you can spare some time for.
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