“J.K. Simmons and Emile Hirsch are on a male-bonding mission of epic proportions in this outrageous comedy-adventure! A globe-trotting workaholic father (Simmons) is trying to visit his daughter (Analeigh Tipton) during a last-minute layover in Los Angeles, only to discover that she’s disappeared. Desperate to find her, he teams up with her awkward ex-boyfriend (Hirsh) to scour the city over the course of one life-changing night filled with bar brawls, break-ins and hilarious hijinks!”
Meeting your girlfriend’s father can be intimidating, as is the case when Martin meets Frank Gallo, who only comes into town once a year to have dinner with his daughter. Six months later, Frank comes back into town looking for her, only to find out that she and Martin have broken up. Still reeling from the tough break-up, Martin reluctantly agrees to help Frank track her down, thinking something terrible may have happened to her.
Martin and Frank follow leads that take them to all different parts of Los Angeles, and very interesting characters from all walks of life. This is where the film takes on an entirely new direction, and actually changes courses several times throughout the remainder. Initially, the film sets out to be a comedy, throwing these two characters that couldn’t be more different into some pretty funny situations with the likes of Taran Killam, Jon Daly, Kristen Schaal and others. Then, there are some situations that are very Hang Over-esque, with drunken brawls in upscale nightclubs. Throughout it all, a bond begins to grow between Martin and Frank, and as we learn more about Frank and his life we begin to feel as though both of these characters need each other more than they would like to admit.
This second act is filled with unexpected situations and some really funny scenes. Despite the occasional shift in direction, the mystery of what has happened to Ginnie and the journey both Martin and Frank are taking remains entertaining. The third act, however, really falls apart. The mystery of where Ginnie is and the new life she is leading has been built up the entire film, and the solution is terribly disappointing, causing the entire conclusion to fall flat.
Where the film does find a bit of success is not in the comedic conclusion, but the heartfelt conclusion in the bond between Marty and Frank. Both men are in bad places in their lives, and thanks to the great acting and chemistry between Emile Hirsch and J.K. Simmons, you are entirely engaged in this journey with them.
All Nighter had the potential to be a really great film, but lacks a clear direction. The title and tagline: “The fastest way to get over an ex? Stay up all night with her Dad” suggest the film is going to be a drunken, party film with hilarious hijinks, which honestly isn’t the case whatsoever. The film tries to wear a different number of hats, which if it focused on one a bit more they could have really pulled it off. However, if you can sift through and focus on the really great parts of the story, which include Marty and Frank finding one another so they might not be so lost anymore, then the film can entertain.
The DVD is presented in Widescreen 2.35:1. Although there are no defects in the transfer noticed, the lack of high definition release will leave you wanting. Also, the lack of detail and sharpness is a bit hard to swallow at times, especially in some of the darker scenes. Color levels are well balanced, however, and for a DVD release this is about as good as it gets.
The DVD also includes a digital copy, which when redeemed on Vudu will give you access to an HDX copy to watch.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The track sounds good, with the majority of the sound coming through the center channel in the form of dialogue. The surrounds are utilized primarily for the score, which has some great music accompanying the film. Levels sound good, especially the track at the end of the film.
The only special features you’re going to see on this disc are:
- Theatrical Trailer
- Sneak Peek
All Nighter suffers from some identity issues, and an unfocused third act and conclusion to the main story. That being said, there is something heartfelt about the journey these two characters take, and if you focus more on that journey and less about the destination, you can find some enjoyment in this film.