Friday 2 March 2012

Review: Project X

Year: 2012

Director: Nima Nourizadeh

Screenplay: Michael Bacall and Matt Drake

Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown

Synopsis is inconsequential is there doesn't appear to be a story. 

What the fuck ever happened to the Teen Film? I walked out of the Project X and that's the first thought that stuck me as I left the theatre. They never used to be as belligerent as this. From your the likes of Animal House (1978) to Ferris Bueller (1986) to my favourite film House Party (1990), there was always a certain element of charm and innocence to the films, lest not their leads. A reason to follow them and spur them on when they "get the girl".

Project X is what you get when you shoehorn a sub par American Pie direct to DVD sequel into a sub-genre that is getting overused at the best of times. But there's more. A liberal sprinkling of MTV reality T.V morals is added to the mix (fame is everything) just to show how insidious the undertones of this movie is. I would send a pox on this film, if it wasn't already so sickly.

Utilizing the trend of "found footage" - despite looking like an tediously over-long, slick music video half of the time, Project X details a weakly told tale of a boys birthday party gone wrong. The idea of lurid teen horniness, pranks and parties going array isn't really a big thing. Films like Superbad (2007) and T.V Series' such as Skins (2007) have their sticky foundation based on such elements. Even last year; one of the biggest British hits of the year was of course The Inbetweeners Movie, a film which managed captures the awkwardness of adolescence that was brought across in the T.V series before it. The thing is, all the above examples do well to at least try and counterbalance some of the more dubious morals on display. But then again none of the above examples have anyone as vile as Costa.
Costa is a character whose lack of remorse or care for anything except his love for "pussy" and "bitches" is a almost as off-putting as the dubious Jewish stereotype that's bestowed on him. But then again this is a character whose quick to use "nigga" in a film in which no black characters say anything substantial and yet hip-hop is blasted out of every audio orifice. This is no Inbetweeners Jay, who is clearly made the butt of the jokes due to his over exaggerations, but a loud mouth wannabe stifler character who garners far too much attention in a film like this.
Oliver Cooper clearly has talent however, as I do not believe for a second that the actor is as obnoxious as his fictional counterpart. Unfortunately it his the characters voice which sets the tone, and he's not even the lead character.

The tone is lots of drunken jailbait breasts bouncing around to loud music as events head way out of control. The plausibility of what happens isn't really the issue, it's the lack of empathy for these nimrods in a film that forgets the basic element of found footage: you have to be really good at making things look bad. To make things worse, the film takes overdone elements and wears them into the ground a little more, doing nothing to make them more interesting. The popular girl is a bitch, there's a blonde douchebag that turns up, the fat friend is also considered to be a little "special", "great stuff". When a car flies into the swimming pool in the films later half, I yawned. Not only was I immediately reminded of Oasis' third album (or The Who), but that even John Hughes was better at how he staged such scenes. He also understood the importance of consequence, character arcs and general entertainment. I fear now he is slowly rotating in his grave. If however you still find the idea of dogs humping amusing, you may find more than I did here.

Note: The film isn't funny either.