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Film Review: 21 and Over


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That film called The Hangover was pretty funny, wasn’t it? It had a good premise, good writing and really good acting! It was so good they made it again, as The Hangover 2 (and soon a third one).

21 and OverNow the creators of The Hangover are bringing something different (OK, not that different – let’s say amended) to the screen in the form of university alco-romp 21 and Over.

We join straight-A college student Jeff Chang (JUSTIN CHON) on the eve of a life-changing medical school interview, when he is surprised by his two best friends, ambitious Casey (SKYLAR AUSTIN) and party-loving Miller (MILES TELLER), who take him out to celebrate his 21st birthday.

What could possibly go wrong?

21 and Over is basically a movie of the montage bits at the end of The Hangover – like a prequel, it’s the drinking bit rather than the aftermath, with a few characters who can remember stuff.

This is another funny film, and if drunken antics and puerile gags are your comedy bag this is a must see. The writing is particularly strong and the majority of the comedic set-ups are as good as anything in the writer’s past films - but this is where the similarities end.

The young cast struggle to deliver the dialogue with any sense of naturalness, meaning some of the funnier vocal exchanges fall flat and none of the characters draw any empathy in any way.

Also, despite all three characters knocking back booze like it is oxygen only Chang gets mindlessly drunk with his hapless friends seemingly having a superhuman tolerance to alcohol that would put Lemmy from Motorhead to shame – it’s achingly unbelievable.

The realism of The Hangover is replaced by the usual glossy, fantasy version of US college life, where everyone on campus is capable of at least a low-level modelling job (aside from the odd weirdo, just there to laugh at). These aspects in many ways cheapen what is some quality comedy writing.

Still, despite this 21 and Over is an enjoyable addition to the genre of gross-out, college comedy.

For a couple of hours you can laugh at being too young and dumb to know how to hold your drink and the antics that brings, or you can lament then fact you never had as much fun as what is appearing on screen.

Either way after a few laughs, 21 and Over will leave little lasting impressions.

21 and Over is released on 3rd May. 

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