Writer: Matt Drake
Starring: Thomas Mann
Jonathan Daniel Brown
Kirby Bliss Blanton
Release Date: Out Now
Three high school losers are attempting to make something of themselves by throwing the biggest party their High School has ever seen in Project X; It's a new comedy produced by The Hangover director Todd Phillips. Thomas (Mann) is turning 18 birthday, and to mark the occasion he's egged on by his mate Costa (Cooper) and the awkward JB (Brown) to make the most of his parents' lavish home for one wild night of hard partying.
The whole crazy scheme is being filmed by creepy goth Dax (Flame), who is glimpsed fleetingly in clothes that makes him look like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. It's really through the camera of director Nima Nourizadeh that the audience gets the best view, landing on the front lines of a party that spirals rapidly out of control.
You tend to see this sort of film mainly in the horror genre, so having it in a comedy setting is certainly selling point, unfortunately that is the only redeeming factor. It's a film that will sharply divide audiences due to its unappealing characters and the fact that, despite being labelled a comedy, it doesn't technically have any jokes in the script.
A lot of the time that doesn't really matter, thanks mainly to producer Phillips who is usually able to find humour in almost anyone or thing, especially men who still possess an adolescent mentality. Unluckily for this film, the lead cast are dead set in their teenage ways so these antics are robbed of any hilarity.
The central trio in Project X are three of the most unlikeable and vapid characters I have seen in a while. The completely lack the rounded personalities of the more endearing characters at the heart of similar comedy films such as American Pie, Superbad and The Inbetweeners Movie. If those movies are what this film should have been aiming for, then Project X missed the bar by miles. Costa, in particular, is an awfully cruel part of the film. He's an abusive and horrible teen whose streetwise "Brooklyn attitude" can't hide the fact that he's a walking cliche.
In the film, news travels fast about the shindig and before long it escalates into a full-scale street party. There's booze, gratuitous nudity, sex, animal cruelty, a midget getting stuffed in an oven and pill-popping, and that's all before things really get out of hand and anarchy erupts. It's at this moment in the film that the documentary feel quickly slips away and the film starts to break all its own rules with newsfeed footage and fast-paced cutting to resemble a conventional action film.
Project X also carries a poor and misjudged moral code, with an entire neighbourhood flattened all in the name of having a good time. Some of the late John Hughes's great teen comedies dealt with maturing people who were able to realise their mistakes and learn from them, which made the characters likable and the films enjoyable. In Project X the central trio are celebrated for their mishaps and mistakes, and considering how mean-spirited this movie is, it left me feeling pissed off rather than happy.
Project X - Trailer