Sex makes the world go round. It also has become a hackneyed and stupid plot device in films targeted at teenagers. Though there have been many classics featuring sex crazed groups like Animal House or Revenge of the Nerds, these films have more than the party element going for them – there’s emotion, semi-developed characters, and some slightly more clever humor than a midget punching people in the testicles. Yes, if you were to throw away all of the positive aspects of these former party films, but replace them with the even more increasingly unbelievable and over-the-top scenarios of Superbad or The Hangover, then you will end up with the abomination that is Project X.
Project X barely has any semblance of a story in it – an audience member with even half of a functioning brain knows how the entire drunken adventure will play out in the first few minutes. Three unpopular teenage boys Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and JB (Jonathan) want to throw an epic party to boost their social status at high school. Fortunately, Thomas’s parents leave town for the weekend but ask him to avoid a few modest things: To not have more than a few friends over, to not touch the father’s car, and to not let people into the father’s office. Of course by the end of the film, the small get-together turns into over 1,000 folks, they drive the car into the pool, and the house office is set aflame and drenched with water — how boringly predictable.
In place of emotional development, there is simply a series of party events. Partygoers get a dog high on marijuana and then tie it to helium balloons, they throw a midget into an oven who then punches everyone in the testicles, and they inadvertently steal ecstasy from a drug dealer who then attacks the neighborhood with a flamethrower. After these events unfold and the father comes back, he is proud of his son Thomas for no longer being a loser and does not show one ounce of anger at all. There’s also an attempt to provide emotional closure with a cheesy love interest subplot that is so bad I actually laughed out loud. Laughing during the few serious seconds of a film is a good sign of bad attempts of shoehorning in some humanity. Though nobody expects realism from a party movie, some events can become so unlikely that it goes beyond aggravating. All of these hijinks are supposedly recorded by a fourth Goth teenager who’s not interested in partying. How he was able to get shots of burning buildings, police officers, and massive landscape scenes to create this ‘lost footage’ documentary is never addressed. Screw logic – bring on more party!
For how stupidly the characters are, the lost footage film element attempts to make the party more realistic as if the audience was there with them. However, while the horror or sci-fi genres seem to fit this style and suck the audience in, a comedy does not seem to work. It’s like the viewers are watching a music video full of montages of asses and breaking things. This is the type of humor that even the most immature of us outgrow within a few years, look back upon, and ask “What the hell did I see in that?”
While many people may not be able to easily find a haunted house to see ghosts like Paranormal Activity or witness teenagers develop superpowers as done in Chronicle, anyone can find a party. People wondering if they should see this film should ask themselves if they would rather waste 88 minutes of their life watching a party when they could go to one instead.
Matt the Movie Analyst’s final verdict: 1/10