Three unpopular high schoolers attempt to boost their popularity status with the mother of all parties in this comedy, filmed handycam-style, from producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover). Now playing nationwide, click for movie times and trailer.
If you name your film Project X, it better feature either a chimpanzee as one of the main characters, or possess some sort of enigmatic quality. This new film fails on both counts and feels like the thinnest excuse for a movie to come along in years.
The Hangover and Old School director Todd Phillips shepherded (but did not direct) Project X and its numerous party montages recall similar scenes in his work.
It's not difficult to discern the intentions here – a cast of unknowns; a lack of moralising about teenage sex and drug use; boobs galore – Phillips clearly wanted to make the ultimate gonzo teenage party movie. It's a goal I am very much onboard with but the resulting film is so devoid of personality, it feels about as gonzo as an afternoon cup of tea. The characters are all generic stereotypes and their arcs possess all the emotional punch of a beer commercial.
At various times the film recalls Risky Business, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Superbad (a lot) and even the underrated 1998 comedy Can't Hardly Wait, but never benefits from the comparisons. The found-footage angle makes it an interesting companion piece to the remarkably similar Chronicle (just switch out the party for superpowers), but again made me appreciate the earlier film more.
I feel like a big old spoil-sport for saying it, but this movie failed to rock my socks off even a little bit. However, if you're proudly in touch with your inner idiot, you may find yourself pumping your fist.