Movie Review: Project X

On January 12, 2008 Australian teen Corey Worthington held a party at his parent’s house while they were on vacation. The party toted a robust total of 500 alcohol-infused teens with the need to cause some property damage. When the police arrived at the scene they were bombarded with bottles and rocks to keep them at bay, this lead to a helicopter and the dog squad being called in. When the dust settled, Corey’s parents were facing 20,000 dollars in fines and the young teen had become an international legend due to an unapologetic interview with A Current Affair where he appeared shirtless and wearing his self proclaimed “famous” glasses. Now the story of Corey’s SMS and social media driven party is the plot for the latest found footage film Project X.

The problem writers Matt Drake (Spin City) and Michael Bacall (Scott Pilgrim VS the World) would face in the story of Corey Worthington was that he was a completely unlikable character. To fix this and give the story a more cinematic appeal the duo would take notes from the “high school coming of age hand book” and turn the teen into a group of  “losers” seeking a social status readjustment. All Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) would have to do is throw the biggest party their school had ever seen and all their problems would be over. They would be able to have sex with the most attractive girls in their school, everyone would want to be their friends, and all of this could be done in one night.  With all that covered, the story just needed a bit of originality, so throw in first time Director Nima Nourizadeh, a few shaky handheld shots, shirtless girls, and a flamethrower. Even if the story is weak all these things will distract the target demographic from any need of a real narrative. The sad thing is that I really do believe that was the idea behind Project X.

It’s not that I think Nourizadeh had the wrong idea, hand-held shaky cam is in, and tits do attract the teenage boy market. This time around there is just nothing else to offer the mass majority of the movie going public. For a film that I kept hearing referenced in the same vein as Super Bad, Project X is just a slightly more entertaining version of a Girls Gone Wild video. The movie is trying to offer a new look at the teenage comedy, and in the end is just a repeat of the same old story.

First off we have Thomas, a kid that isn’t popular in school, his father doesn’t think highly of him, and he is just now noticing that he is in love with his long time friend Kirby.  I wont ruin the love triangle tie in, but I think you know where that story is heading. Next we have Thomas’ two best friends Costa and JB: Costa is a wise-mouth kid who claims to have had it all figured out at his previous school even right down to the hot girlfriend he left behind. Remember that story? JB is the fat friend who is constantly referenced as so, all these films need a fat kid so JB fills that role and nothing more. Without the movie’s over the top ending we would be left with the same dribble that we have seen in past films of the same caliber.

If you’re looking for insight into the new teenage brain you won’t find it in Project X, as this film plays out more along the lines of what an undersexed 30-year-old fan of Michael Bay thinks Corey Worthington’s party was like. Laying everything on the table in the film’s closing sequences of debauchery, Project X bets the bank that its fan base’s love of fire will push them into box office gold. These moments of sheer anarchy at the end of the film are the only thing that saves it from being a clip on WhenhighschoolgirlsgobadXXX.com and you don’t need a movie theater to see that. Just check out the trailer, set some stuff on fire, and save yourself the price of admission.

I give Project X 1 “pseudo-lesbian make out scene” out of 5

By Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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