Friday, October 18, 2013

Quick Cut Review - "Project X"

Directed by:  Nima Nourizadeh
Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathon Daniel Brown
Rated: R  
Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes  
Release Date: March 2, 2012

The "found footage" and "frat party" movie genres aren't exactly known for their class or high art sensibilities, but they can be fun if done right, which by the way hardly ever happens. By making a found footage/frat party movie hybrid, the people responsible for this poor excuse for a comedy have literally lowered the possibility of their film to be anything other than a passing curiosity at best and a total s**t show at worst. Guess which end of the spectrum their "project" ended up at?

First of all, why? Why do this? Was anyone asking for yet another party movie about a group of teens who feel their lives will only ever be complete if they throw a huge party full of chicks, tits, dicks and pricks? Not really, but then again I suppose every generation needs their party movie (Animal House, Porky's, American Pie and Can't Hardly Wait stand out as the best this limited genre of film has to offer), but if this is the current generation's ultimate party movie...god help them.

OK, so what exactly is wrong here? Let's start with our three friends. You have the Michael Cera wannabe whose parents are leaving town on his birthday (what great parents), the couldn't-be-even-if-he-sold-his-soul Jonah Hill character who wants to throw the most epic party of all time at his friend's house for his b-day and finally there is the obligatory fat kid who becomes cool during the party. Oh, and since this is a "found footage" movie, we also have the camera guy who may have possibly murdered his parents...yeah.

As you can tell, this isn't exactly the most original character types ever conceived. Then you throw them into what is essentially just one big party for the rest of the movie, and you have yourself one helluva generic flick that thinks it is much cooler than it actually is. To be completely fair though, the film does accomplish its very modest goal of creating the biggest party ever seen. Complete with midgets in the oven, cars in the pool, people riding on horseback through the streets and a dude strapped with a flamethrower torching all the neighbor's homes and trees, this is without a doubt the craziest party you are likely to see, it's just too bad it wasn't a good one.

The problem here is that since we don't have any relatable characters, none of anything that happens has any impact. We don't care if these guys get laid at their party, we don't care if they get caught throwing their party and we certainly don't give two s**ts if they are grounded for the rest of their lives for destroying their entire neighborhood. Speaking of that, the one and only redeeming thing this film could have done at the end, which is show the repurcussions for such a horrible disregard for other people's property, is casually done away with as one kid gets his dad's admiration and the other gets to be famous. How's that for teaching your kids some responsibility?


No matter how big or crazy you make your party movie, none of it matters unless we can at the very least care about the characters or even see some sort of growth by the end, which this film has neither of. If you want to see a good film about parties and kids getting crazy and come away from the experience with some great characters and/or great laughs, check out one of those other films mentioned above, because this one is just a huge waste of time and energy.


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