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Film review: Project X


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Project XThe latest offering from the guy behind The Hangover (Todd Phillips) is billed as ‘the ultimate party movie’, and if considered in those terms Project X certainly delivers.

This is every teen party movie ever released ramped up to 11 – the party is bigger, the debauchery is wilder, and the party-goers are every teen cliché of what is considered hot. There has never been a party like this on the big screen.

But that is where the compliments end, because in Project X that is all there is – a party! The flimsy plot and shallow characters seem to have been merely created as padding for an excuse to capture a crazy-teen-party on celluloid. Basically, three high-school non-entities aim to throw a “legendary” birthday party for Thomas’ (played by Thomas Mann) to become popular and make girls want to sleep with them, because at American high-schools the only important thing is being popular (having great friends, supportive parents, and an incredibly attractive girl already in to you, as Thomas has, is simply not enough to make your life worthwhile). The party explodes into anarchy and things get hairy. Cue police, rioting and fires.

The cast of newcomers put in some quality and believable performances but this fact does little to add flesh to the bones of Project X’s scant narrative.

The party itself is an amalgamation of every amazing party ever to take place in reality and in high-school legend (every school has the story of the legendary party that some people no one ever met had one year). Looking not unlike those Adidas party adverts (which director Nima Nourizadeh also worked on) but with less celebs, harder tunes and more “titties” and sex on show, Project X is at heart an extended music video, with some cinematic elements attempting tying it all together.

It’s pretty basic teen-movie fodder, even with the attempts to add something different with shaky ‘found footage’ and its documentary style, but it adds nothing to a movie which largely lacks a soul.

Project X makes teenage rebellion in 2012 look predictable and a little dull – these characters have nothing to fight against, no real issues, only boredom! Being ‘cool’ is the be all and end all of their existence, and there is nothing else to take from this movie. Sex, drugs and rock n roll are presented as stale clichés, as something we youngsters do because we are too bored, and/or stupid to do anything else.

Regardless there are a few laugh-out-loud moments but even these are base and obvious. If your idea of “funny” is an angry midget trapped in an oven before hitting everyone in the balls then Project X will be comedy gold. If you think that sounds a little dumb, it’s probably best to avoid a trip to the cinema.

But it’s obvious that Project X has no ambition to be a thought-provoking, meaningful film, the makers just wanted to film a kick-ass PARTAY! And in that they have succeeded.

Project X is a great party but a lousy movie.

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