Project X (2012) Mar 3, 2012 18:07:17 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Mar 3, 2012 18:07:17 GMT -5
Project X claims to be "the ultimate party movie."
Project X reaches a whole new level of juvenile debauchery, and because of its repetition of incoherent party scenes, it spans for what seems to be a lot longer than eighty-eight minutes. It isn't offensive, if you've seen other R rated comedies, but it isn't as original, funny, clever, or as witty as it bills itself.
The plot is wholly absent. High school Senior Thomas (Mann) plans to throw the ultimate party at his house to commemorate his birthday, and to try and become popular, with the help of his friends Costa (Cooper) and J.B. (Brown). Because Thomas's parents are vacationing for the weekend, they decided to hold the jam at his house, and after hours of promotion at school and throughout the town, it finally happens. It turns out to be the craziest thing ever. Hundreds and hundreds of teenagers show up, and spend the night drinking, stripping, gyrating, dancing, swearing, fighting, and, well, being teenagers.
Project X plays less like a film, and more like a music video. Scenes involve inconsistent shots of all different age groups of men and women, dancing and stripping, combined with the never-ending hip-hop song with booming bass.
If that's what you want, cease to read on much further. At this point, you can decide if it's for you or not. I love comedies, especially the ones that don't succumb to neutering content just to make an extra buck from the teens. I, however, don't like comedies with faceless characters, or ones that follow the easy path of "all style, no substance." The difficult thing with party movies is that not only are they incredibly hard to write, but they are incredibly hard to write well. Rarely do we get descriptions of people in these films, and in Project X, any form of credible, definable characterization is completely absent.
It isn't long before the film turns from juvenile, to just plain nihilistic and mean-spirited. Nihilistic in the sense that nothing matters as long as we have fun, and mean-spirited in the sense the film doesn't seem to like anybody. Every group of people imaginable in this film is depicted in their lowest possible form. There's also a lovely scene that qualifies as one of my rules on how to make a poor comedy, or movie in general; it's the animal in distress. Thanks, movie, for showing no passion or feelings to even the virtually helpless.
Not only is an animal treated poorly, but both genders are depicted at their lowest. The film shows men as horny, brainless delinquents, and women as useless caricatures that are no better than the size of their breasts and buttocks and only deserve to be shown in a Girls Gone Wild-esque light. Few films bring light and wit to these dehumanizing traits, and Project X brings misogyny to an all time low.
By the final act, the film goes from vaguely comedic and dizzying, to brutal, unforgivable, and harshly consequential. Oddly enough, it involves the best scenes in the film, even if they are a little far-fetched. So many films show the great side of parties, but never the consequences. While it is taken to the extreme and may be a bit impractical, after hundreds of jump-cuts of gyrating teenagers and exhausting bass, these shots are fresh, welcoming, and sometimes a bit frightening.
Project X is partying to the extreme, but not nearly as fun as one would like to believe. The found footage aspect is fine, although not necessary, but I'd still take it over 3D any day. The film's main flaw is in its indistinct script that characterizes everyone by stereotypes, and makes the protagonists into unlikable snobs who believe popularity is the only way to go through life. Even the use of verbal timing, an almost vital trait in any good comedy, is very rare. The end we're left with is extremely off. It basically says "even if you endangered the life of yourself and hundreds of other people, hey, you're popular, man!"
Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Nichole Bloom, and Alexis Knapp. Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh.