Project X just confused me. For starters the movie was filmed under terms of absolute secrecy with the only identifier being it was produced by Hangover director Todd Phillips. In many ways Project X is The Hangover on Ecstasy but after awhile it overstays its welcome. With a group of protagonists who are overt misogynists, a storyline that is so utterly ridiculous all goodwill is lost in analyzing the plot problems, and an over reliance on montage and naked women, Project X tries to be American Pie but ends up being a direct-to-DVD rip-off.
Three high schoolers want to make their friend Thomas’ (Thomas Mann) birthday extra special. So they tell everyone they know about a party at his house. They also post it on Craiglist, text messages, anywhere really. The party becomes so massive and the destruction of Thomas’ house becomes so out of control the party becomes a legend unto itself.
The basic conceit of Project X is fun; that of a party so large it goes viral. The party scenes of mass destruction have some fun moments but honestly they’re all in the trailer. From Milo the dog on the trampoline to the person in the oven and the car in the pool, these are the moments that are supposed to make Project X so amazing (and they are in the moment).
Unfortunately, the movie relies on party footage you could watch on YouTube. There’s so many montages of girls dancing, people drinking, and drugs being taken (all on Blackberrys, iPhones and the like) that you start to wonder why you paid to see the movie and didn’t simply peruse the internet. There’s nothing special enough in this movie to see on the big screen that you can’t find on someone’s Facebook. The three main stars are all pretty shallow caricatures of Superbad characters. There’s the “player,” the nerdy guy who doesn’t realize his best girl friend loves him, the mysterious one, etc. They’re all pretty awful kids who we’re supposed to like, but there’s only so many times you can hear the phrase “I’m getting laid” before you realize why they haven’t gotten laid in the first place…they’re jerks! I lost all interest when a neighbor rightfully complains about the noise and the sea of people. One of the kids, Everett (Brady Hender) actually tasers this guy! Said neighbor is irked about being tasered and punches one of the kids and when he threatens to call the people…for being tasered!…the kids say they have video of him punching said kid and he doesn’t call! I would have called 911 the minute a taser touched me, and because these kids threaten to show a video of him punching someone (mind you we’ve seen him punch the kid on the same video), he doesn’t call the cops? These moments keep happening as these kids are continuously let off the hook and it becomes utterly frustrating. When the SWAT team shows up and says they have to let the party disperse naturally you want to scream at the screen!
If you’re a 13-year-old boy who enjoys party footage and seeing four jerks try to score with drugged out, naked girls, then you’ll love Project X. If you enjoy actual storytelling, there’s none to be found here. This is Risky Business done to excess and it’s just stupid and mildly offensive.