Project X – 2.5/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

project xProject X – 2.5/5 – This is going to be a review for a ‘teenage comedy’ that came out last year.  I put that in quotes because when you think of the teenage comedies, you think of films like Dazed and Confused, Superbad and American Pie.  Films like these seem to be the tradition when it comes to teenage comedies.  Now with giving it a definition, in saying this is one of those kinds of films is only explaining it on the surface.  The premise is of the simple context (Party with teenagers), but it turns out to be more than that.  With that being said, what you also get is a film of the ‘found footage’ genre, with a mixture of crude humor in a teenage party.  What you will come to see is, that Project X is a stand out of its own in the mix of ‘teenage comedy’.

Premise:  In Pasadena, three seemingly anonymous high school seniors attempt to step from their unknown status in school and become more. Their idea is innocent in thought, let’s throw a party that no one will forget while documenting history in the making.  What seems like a simple teenage hangout turns into something more than they expected.  Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends are born.

When it comes to found footage films, the acting has to be as real as the setup.  In the teenage roles, we have Thomas Mann as Thomas, Oliver Cooper as Costa and Jonathan Daniel Brown as JB.  As a whole, they do an admirable job in portraying typical outsiders in high school.  They experience and see life as any normal adolescents do, and feel they need to something radical and they are invincible in there choices.  In this cliché persona, they plan the party, hoping to become more than just the outsiders.  There isn’t really anything outstanding or amazing in their acting, and they portray the ‘ignorance’ and ‘obliviousness’ to the tee, as any common teenager.  This isn’t something to complain about, as it is enough to give the movie flavor, and keep it watchable.  When it comes to the rest of the cast, there isn’t really anything beyond them being standouts for the premise of the film.  Throughout, you see the spotlight shine upon other teenagers at the party, as you would see at any usual party.  They dance, make fools of themselves, and even dabble in debauchery and other unmentionable acts.  In this, they do more to help add to the ‘party’ induced style of the film instead of being actual characters of representative value.  Like the main characters, there isn’t anything here that hinders the film, but it maintains the tone as average.

When it comes to the direction, it is a mix of a many things.  You get a sense of a traditional teenage comedy on the surface, but as you look deeper, it is mix of ‘found footage’ elements and crude humor.  This is pretty much the triage of what you get in every scene, from beginning to end.  As the film starts, the friends are at school, planning the party.  The first 20 minutes is basic film setup, where the setup for this film is planning this party for the ages.  You have some moments here at being funny as the film is setting up plot threads, but it just comes over as cheesy and forceful.  Once the movie shifts from the school to the house, and the party gets going, the film makes a turn towards the ‘found footage’ style with the craziness of the party that is starting.  Through this, you get an exposition on the theme of  a teenage party gone wild.  This is when the predictable ‘teenage’ comedy turns into a mix of crude humor, life lessons and all out craziness.  To sum it up, the whole rest of the film is a look at the ‘worst case scenario’ of partying.  There is lots of drinking, drug usage, vandalism, sexual acts and other things you could imagine happening at a party of this magnitude.  What makes this film not terrible is the levity of the director’s vision; knowing what the film is, and left the average feel and not making anything more dramatic than it should be.  By the climax, the party has reached its max potential, causing a whole bunch of chaos and catastrophe’s for the main characters, marking them definite legends in Pasadena.  In the end, even for the ridiculousness of the night’s events, realism still heeds its evil head.  Even though the teenagers had a blast, they still have to face the consequences of their choice.

A great part of this film is in the visuals.  With it being portrayed as ‘found footage’, you have to keep everything you see as real.  The whole emphasize of a ‘teenage party’ is vibrant, crude, in your face and raw.  The value of keeping it on the party, teenagers and music is genuine, and you feel a part of the outlandish situation, even if certain aspects are unbelievable.  Another great element is the score.  With the use of contemporary and modern music, it helps ground the film as relative in it’s over the top entertaining scenario.

Overall, Project X is average in its simple premise, but the effects of ‘found footage’ combined with the crude nature of the party elements make it entertaining.  If you’re looking for a film to past the time, or want to have something that is a crazy entertaining ride, this is a film to watch.

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