Movie Review: Project X
The documentary style of fiction filmmaking has been flourishing in the horror genre for years now, with zombies and demons abounding on the big screen, but with Project X, the name of the directorial debut by Nima Nourizaden that sounds like it should be a horror film, takes this approach into new territory: the raunchy teen comedy.
Looking to throw the most epic of epic suburban house parties, braggart Costa and his foil J.B. set up and egg on Thomas, the birthday boy who would be the man. With his parents away, the house of Thomas is empty for the weekend, and Costa wastes no time spreading the news by word of mouth, text, Facebook, and radio.
Apparently there is nothing else to do in this suburb, one that surely features the most attractive teenagers and open-minded teenagers in the world, as party-goers arrives quickly en masse. Equally parts excited at his newfound popularity and worried about the safety of his house, Thomas finds himself at the centre of an ever escalating party, even if he can’t remember every moment, one complete with a DJ, bounce house, and did I mention the most attractive group of teenagers in any town?
From the backyard the party spills into the pool (sans clothes), and then into the house, and then upstairs, to the roof, and to the streets, and eventually to local news. The producers of The Hangover are clearly applying the ever-escalating absurd events that defined that film to this movie, where no person, car, or home is safe.
The entire escapade is caught on film, as the boys hire the talents of an outcast highschooler Dax to work the camera all day and night. iPhones supply other footage, and later helicopters, but worry not, there is seemingly a camera everywhere one is needed to caught the action, even underwater in the pool where many women are present, but few clothes are.
The three stars of the film eventually become quite endearing, though at the onset their introduction is too reminiscent of Superbad to seem at all interesting. Thomas (Thomas Mann) is the slightly shy and cautious hero, attractive and easily influenced; Costa (Oliver Cooper) is his crass, manipulative friend; J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) is along for the ride, taking as many jabs as he gives out.
The film is awe-inspiring for high school and college students, and maybe nostalgic for an older generation—represented in the film by a mustachioed husband fleeing his suburban life for a night of drinking and dancing—but for some this film will be nothing but fleeting gags, ones that momentarily startle, but quickly dissolve.
Pure entertainment and shock, there is little to no meaning and certainly no morality. Once the party begins, it is curious to see exactly where the action goes, but the vain attempt to make Thomas and his platonic female friend Kirby something more only adds disbelief to a movie that requires quite the suspension of reason.
Though losing focus at times when it tries to care about friendship and family, Project X is a fun party movie, but not as much to watch as it would be to be in, or failing that, actually having a party.