Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh
Cast: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins
Release Date: March 2, 2012
PLOT: Three high schoolers throw a huge birthday party to make a name for themselves. As the night progresses, things get out of control.
WHO’S IT FOR? High school kids who want to dare to dream. Keep in mind, this would be any adult’s nightmare.
Is March 4, 2012 the day I realized I was old? The next time I use the term “fuddy-duddy” could I be using it to describe myself? For a little bit, that’s what Project X had me thinking about. Then I realized I’m going to Vegas for a bachelor party, and right after that I’ll be at SxSW for films and a near countless amount of concerts. Yes, concerts! Of the rock and/or roll variety! Marriage and age hasn’t slowed me down, so is Project X just too sped up?
Be warned, this is a “found footage” movie, which means the character Dax (Dax Flame) is in the perfect place, at the perfect time, recording the footage. For me, this is another case of “found footage” being used terribly. Here, it pretty much means they can have terrible cinematography with tons of blurry and shaky scenes. There is no reason for it.
Three friends plan a party. It’s Thomas’s (Thomas Mann) 17th birthday and his parents are going out of town, so they have their destination. Costa (Oliver Cooper) is the gang’s slick over-talker from New York. Cooper is pretty much doing an over-exaggerated, annoying Jonah Hill from Superbad. Please keep in mind, I loved Hill and the entirety of Superbad. The third in our trio is JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown). He’s a super nerd who Costa relentlessly torments. Somehow, Costa gets the party to go viral, even though no one finds him charming. In fact, they find him as annoying as I did. I think part of the problem I had with Costa is that he’s trying extra hard because Dax is recording the whole thing. It’s forced behavior.
Sure, Thomas is an average kid, trying to get a girl, but during the course of the party, he can’t even decide which one. Look, the party is insane. It looks like a crazy time, especially if you’re in high school. Unfortunately, watching Project X isn’t fun. As the party escalates, you realize Thomas has lost control. Sure, there are a couple of funny moments involving two kids as security guards. The security guards are Freshmen with Tasers, batons, and an inflated sense of self. Otherwise it’s just party montage after party montage.
The women of Project X are meant to serve as eye-candy and things for nerds to prey upon if they can get them drunk enough. Actually, we can’t call them women, they’re girls. That’s just one of the issues I had. I don’t like looking at naked women when they are playing 16 and 17 year olds. It’s wrong. Not for teens to watch, but for adults. The girls are candy, the kegs are candy, the beer pong is candy, the drugs are candy … and when you have too much candy you puke. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of that as well.
For a second, along with the puking, I thought there would be serious consequences. After all, there are explosions, police, news teams, and an Angry Little Person (Martin Klebba). Seriously, that’s his character’s name. During all of this there is also one phone call to the police. One. One. It felt for a second like we, the audience, might be handed a lesson on the dangers of excess. Not really. Once the consequences are announced, it’s with a shrug of the shoulder. There are no lessons. It’s just a crazy party, that isn’t much fun.
The party won’t stop, even though you want it to.
FINAL SCORE: 4/10