Already slammed by critics, Nima Nourizadeh’s directorial debut is garnering negative reviews across the nation. Toted as being a complete waste of a film that only focuses on booze, boobs and amoral debauchery, “Project X” is a teenager’s ultimate party wet dream come true. Sure, it’s suppose to be a senior “high school” party, but producer Todd Phillips, who also produced and directed “The Hangover” and “Due Date,” isn’t fooling anyone. The creation of “Project X” is for the sole purpose for entertaining all those aged 14 to 25. From high school freshmen gaping at nude flesh to the older heads who are all too familiar with pill-popping and shotgunning a beer, “Project X” is winning big time in the younger movie-going demographic.
Advertisements touting “Project X” as the lovechild of “Superbad” and “The Hangover” aren’t too far off from the truth, although the last two movies admittedly had much better scripts and more substantial plots. There are tons of hot girls, lots of alcohol, drugs, relevant music, and of course, the token shy nerd who wants to get laid. Sweet 17 year-old birthday boy Thomas of the quiet, upper-class suburban neighborhood North Pasadena is left on his own for the weekend when his parents depart for their anniversary getaway. Before leaving, we catch Thomas’s father whispering to his wife that Thomas is a “loser” and there’s no way that the kid has it in him to throw a party. Of course, it’s all downhill from there. Thomas’s friends J.B. and Costa help him plan the night, with the fast-talking, smart-mouthed Costa being the brains and mouth behind the operation. Thomas wanted no more than 50 people, but was afraid of nobody showing up, so Costa took it upon himself to release the party info and address to every communications medium known to man, including Craigslist and radio stations.
The night starts as cars full of scantily clad girls show up in droves, taking over the house as the DJ spins top 40 tracks and popular EDM mixes, making all those in the audience feel like they’re part of the party, too. There are several enjoyable montages of boys getting a dog high, beer pong, lots of making out, and of course, topless girls in bouncy houses, in the pool and dancing on tables. One of the greatest moments in the film is of a gnome being smashed open with a baseball bat and hundreds of ecstasy pills flying everywhere, inciting hundreds of hungry party goers to get on their hands and knees and snatching up as much as they can. Things spiral very quickly out of control from there as Thomas himself stops trying to regulate and worry about the party and becomes just as reckless and wild as any veteran party animal.
While “Project X” isn’t as hilarious as “The Hangover,” it certainly has its moments as Costa’s hired security infiltrates the house of an annoyed neighbor. The writers also tried to emulate certain themes from “Superbad” as we see Thomas struggling with his feelings for long-time friend Kirby and having sex with the hottest girl in school. But in reality, that side plot isn’t necessary in this film as viewers are much more interested in the brand new Mercedes crashing into a pool, a whole street being set ablaze by a drug dealer and a furious midget throwing angry punches at anything that moves.
While the party spiraled out of the control, the writers of the script seemed to have been losing their marbles as well. The last quarter of the film focuses on the police clad in riot gear trying to disperse the party, but it’s just so incredibly unbelievable that a party in North Pasadena can get so out of control that the police state they’ll have to wait until the party winds down to raid the place because it’s too wild for them to handle. Helicopters arrive to put out the fire and the scene quickly turns into what looks like an apocalypse. There are cars being set on fire, things being blown up and over one thousand drunk and drugged partiers screaming, crying and running in every which direction to escape the chaos.
“Project X” doesn’t seem to have a plot or message. This sort of film is a critic’s nightmare, and it only recieves 3 stars because it is geared toward this exact audience: college students.