It may play as a prequel to the Hangover, especially when you see who produced it, but Project X has some moments of hilarity. It may be more hilarious to a younger generation as my elderly eyes kept thinking about how fast those folks’ insurance company was going to drop them.
Thomas (Thomas Mann) is having a birthday. Even better his parents are going out of town and leaving him in charge. This sends his pals Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) into planning mode. Well, maybe just Costa. They plan to throw an epic party that will raise their cred in school. They even hire Dax (Dax Flame) to document the proceedings with his video camera. What follows goes from epic to destroying Thomas’ house and neighborhood.
The catch of Project X was that it was going to play like a found footage movie, however, lawyers prevailed and the Blu-ray begins with a warning telling you that what you’re about to see is a film. Like we needed that, but I’m sure Warner Brothers didn’t want lawsuits. To that end they had casting calls and cast basically unknowns in the lead roles. Not that you haven’t seen these characters before as to me the film played like a prequel to the Hangover films.
I could see bits of those protagonists in our teenage leads, although we really don’t get to know much about them beyond archetype. I did learn that Costa annoyed the heck out of me. Each film has its fair share of gross out humor.
Since Hangover helmer Todd Phillips produces here, it’s not too far of a stretch. The plot cribs bits from Animal House and a host of other teens in trouble flicks. Brining up Animal House probably only shows my age. Age may also be a factor in enjoyment of the film though I found plenty to laugh at. The young crowd will be used to such gross out abandon (look at the film’s 100 million plus box office and I’d wager that many weren’t over 30) but the elderly, like myself, in the crowd will think of all the money that they’d have to pony up if the party happened in reality.
There are two cases where teens tried to stage such parties and didn’t even get close to pulling them off as well as getting into some real world trouble – and I’d imagine the reason for the warning before the film.
Project X is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.85:1). You get the 88 minute theatrical cut and the 94 minute xtended cut. Special features, although in high definition, are supposed to feel expansive but add up to very little. Basically, you get three featurettes: the 5 minute “Declassified,” the 5 minute “Pasadena Three,” and the 5 minute “Project Xpensive.” You also get the film on DVD and digital copy.
There are crazy situations that lead to some laughs, but anyone trying to pull off this type of party will only lead to jail time and not “epic” status in your school. Your enjoyment may depend on your age. I felt more and more like the older guy that snuck into the teenager’s party. Beer with a side of fiber for me I guess. I still found plenty to giggle at though, must be Alzheimer’s.
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