Project X

Review by Adam Woodward @AWLies

Directed by

Nima Nourizadeh

Starring

Jonathan Daniel Brown Oliver Cooper Thomas Mann

Anticipation.

Looks like a cynical attempt by Todd Phillips to cash in with Hangover Jnr.

Enjoyment.

A party you wish you’d been at. With bells on.

In Retrospect.

For every high there’s a crash-and-burn comedown. It’s hard to see yourself watching this again.

Nima Nourizadeh’s insane party movie is like a John Hughes film spiralling down the K-hole.

Producer Todd Phillips ushers a trio of teens in front of director Nima Nourizadeh’s lascivious lens for 90 minutes of hedonistic, handheld chaos. Project X doesn’t have the charm of, say, a Superbad, but then sucking base cocaine through a glass cock is hardly what you’d call ‘endearing’. It’s like a John Hughes film spiralling down the K-hole, only Ferris Bueller wouldn’t last five minutes at this joint.

The mock-doc style, so often employed as a lazy shorthand, works a treat here as we eavesdrop on a tale as old as Animal House, following three likeable dudes getting their freak on for the roadblock rave house-party to end them all. The goal, as ever, is to improve their social standing and get laid with various Megan Fox-alikes. It’s helped no end by the fact that in California teen movies, there’s a phat house with a pool and everyone, especially when dancing in slo-mo, looks impossibly hip.

Oliver Cooper plays Costa, some kind of cross between Vince Vaughan in Swingers and Turtle in HBO’s Entourage, hustling a night of “balls-deep entertainment” to remember. Gnome filled with ecstasy? Check. Mental midget in the oven? Check. Crazed flame-throwing drug dealer en route to apply the comedown? Check.

Yes, there’s a formula at work, but the energy of the performances which capture those sweet moments of youth when anything is possible, combined with Nourizadeh’s nimble editing skills (honed on promos for the likes of Hot Chip and Mark Ronson), makes for an entertaining ride. It’s more than just another R-rated swearathon.

If you’re still young enough to see in the sunrise on a cocktail of pills, booze and delirium – or old enough to have survived a few – this is one party you’ll wish you’d been at.

Published 2 Mar 2012

Anticipation.

Looks like a cynical attempt by Todd Phillips to cash in with Hangover Jnr.

Enjoyment.

A party you wish you’d been at. With bells on.

In Retrospect.

For every high there’s a crash-and-burn comedown. It’s hard to see yourself watching this again.

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