Courtesy of Beth Dubber
If “The Hangover” had been involved with “American Pie” and “Superbad” in some sort of weird love triangle, it would have resulted in “Project X.” Breasts, booze and beat-downs help the film breathe new life into a recently exhausted genre.
In sunny Pasadena, Calif., three high school seniors throw a party in hopes of ascending to popularity. The trio, all of whom are clearly the outcasts of the school, is comprised of Thomas, a straight-shooter type with a good head on his shoulders, Costa, the typical cocky kind of friend, and J.B., a portly, glasses-wearing nerd dying to break out of his shell.
The night starts off slow for the guys but it continually builds, never looking back and never taking its foot off the pedal. Contextually, there is a lot of crude humor and shock-value within the film, but nothing as bad as some of the stuff from “The Hangover 2.” It combines witty yet harsh dialogue to tie the film’s aspects together.
Oliver Cooper, a Toledo, Ohio, native, shines in his role as Costa. He constantly antagonizes his friends and pushes them not to wuss out. The manner in which he emphasizes his lines, especially those about his good ole days “back in Queens,” made me love the character that is undoubtedly what some would consider a douchebag.
The overall situation might sound eerily similar to 2007’s “Superbad,” but it manages to hold it’s own and present the audience with a completely different experience. Yes, it focuses on high school students and their social struggles, but we are given an inside view into the life of the characters, giving them more depth and realness than a traditional homage to underage inebriation.
The film is presented in the faux-documentary style that we have seen a surge of in the last few years. I am not typically a fan of the shaky camera angles and jerking movements, as seen in “Quarantine” and “Cloverfield,” but “Project X” is different. It is shot in first-person, but remains steady throughout the film, at least not shaking enough to leave the viewer with a headache.
There was not a single point in the entire film that I found my mind wandering, and I would be willing to bet that a majority of my fellow audience members followed suit. The laughs were non-stop and the acting was spot-on, the guys truly encompassed the roles, and it showed.
If nudity, drugs and foul language don’t easily offend you, then this 88-minute roller coaster ride is worth the few bucks you will shell out on a ticket.