21 and Over Directed by: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Cast: Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon, Sarah Wright Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins Rating: R Release Date: March 1, 2013
PLOT: The night before the most important interview of his life, Jeff Chang (Chon) goes out for his 21st birthday. Leading the charge are his two best friends from high school, Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin). Problems ensue.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you loved Project X or The Hangover Part II you'll freak out for this film, which is definitely a step down from The Hangover and Superbad.
One of the things that makes a night out with friends great, is the flow. There never seems to be a lull. Maybe there are a few surprises along the way, but boredom never enters into the mix. 21 and Over doesn't have that flow. Sure, there are some quality, immature, amusing moments, but there are many times when I would have been happy for the night to come to and end.
Miller is the make or break character of the film. He's a hyper slacker who is our leader. The problem is that most people would be sick of him being in charge, and potentially speaking. Yes, Teller is channeling Vince Vaughn with this performance, and doing a pretty good job of it. Teller made me laugh, but he made me cringe more. The dialogue hits maybe 10 to 15 percent of the time, but with how fast Teller is talking, that's still a nice handful of chuckles.
Miller and Casey (the bland one, who already has a job lined up after graduation) head to Northern Pacific University to party with Jeff Chang. He didn't know they were coming, must prepare for his pre-med interview, where his overbearing father will be present. Here's where the film gets lazy. We can already see the full struggle of this film being a guy who needs to stand up to his father. There is also a few "No, I won't," moments. As in ... "No, we are definitely not going out!" Cut to Jeff Change drinking his ass off at a bar. There's another moment when Miller decides it would be crazy to go searching sororities for some vital information. Cut to them doing exactly that. It's almost like the movie just wants to have stupid, drunken fun, and the plot, character development, and tension keep getting in the way.
Miller and Casey end up dragging a passed-out Jeff Chang everywhere (without ever making a Weekend at Bernie's reference), trying to get him home. They never try to sober him up any other way. Sure, there are naked girls, drinking, annoying guys, and more drinking but no real lessons to learn hear. The worst part is that Miller is a terrible friend who never takes personal responsibility, and he just keeps getting away with it. I like it when arrogant characters (even likable arrogant characters) have consequences. Miller really doesn't.
I'm happily surprised with how much I laughed at this average flick, but I definitely can't say it was fun from beginning to end. Just like Miller, the film itself seems annoyed with the idea of creating a fully interesting idea, and just wanted to party. The flow of 21 and Over doesn't make it a classic, just an OK time.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10