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Project X - Review

Project X

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

THE latest film to exploit the found footage genre, Project X is also a Superbad wannabe that wholeheartedly embraces the anarchic style of producer Todd Philips’ various movies.

In doing so, however, it forgets to include any of the heart that comes with the best examples of the genre, piling on the excess to such a degree that it invites accusations of sexism and bad taste.

The plot finds three nerds (Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel Brown) looking to overcome their high school anonymity by throwing the most epic house party ever, only to find the event spins hopelessly beyond their control.

Nima Nourizadeh’s film is partly inspired by a real life party that took place in Australia in 2008, where 500 revellers turned against the police, but panders more to tried and tested coming-of-age movie conventions: the need to be cool, the need to get laid, the need to have a John Hughes moment.

As a result, the girls are merely sex objects who can’t wait to remove their tops, while the boys exist to overcome their insecurities while hurling supposedly funny abuse at each other.

Nourizadeh also floods the screen with innumerable, supposedly cool shots of drunken, semi-naked debauchery with the odd shot of a comedy dog thrown in (either attached to balloons or jumping on the bouncy castle).

The gags, meanwhile, attempt to go for the outrageous (an angry midget punching people, including a woman, down below) and end up feeling offensive and the found footage approach is half-heartedly achieved with Nourizadeh occasionally opting to abandon it altogether.

Some of this may have been forgivable if the characters had been a little more likeable, but the central trio are a largely obnoxious pack who don’t seem to learn anything from the experience.

Cooper’s Costa, especially, is an onerous creation, although even Mann’s supposedly ‘shy’ Thomas gets more of a pat on the back and the girl of his dreams than any sense of right or wrong.

Where the anarchic spirit triumphed in films like The Hangover, here it merely hangs like a rock around the film’s neck. And it leaves you with a similar headache.

Certificate: 18
Running time: 88mins
UK Release Date: March 2, 2012