Three high school guys throw a party…that becomes a neighbor nightmare. SIDEWALKS’ Mika and Richard have their reviews of the wild “Project X.”
Warner Bros. Pictures
Opening Date: Friday, March 2, 2012
MPAA Rating: R for “crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem – all involving teens”
Run Time: 88 minutes
“Project X” follows three seemingly anonymous high school seniors—Thomas, Costa and J.B.—as they attempt to finally make a name for themselves. Their idea is innocent enough: let’s throw a party that no one will forget, and have a camera there, to document history in the making… but nothing could prepare them for this party. Word spreads quickly as dreams are ruined, records are blemished and legends areborn. “Project X” is a warning to parents and police everywhere.
Nima Nourizadeh makes his feature film debut directing a cast of newcomers who scored parts through a nationwide talent search. Todd Phillips (“The Hangover” films) produces the film, with Joel Silver, Scott Budnick, Andrew Rona, Alex Heineman and Marty P. Ewing executive producing. The screenplay was written by Matt Drake and Michael Bacall, based on a story by Bacall.
“Project X” stars Thomas Mann, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Oliver Cooper, Dax Flame, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Alexis Knapp and Miles Teller (“Footloose”).
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes cinematographer Ken Seng (“Step Up 3D”), production designer Bill Brzeski (“The Hangover” films, “Due Date”), editor Jeff Groth (TV’s “Entourage”), and costume designer Alison McCosh (assistant costume designer, “The Hangover” films).
Warner Bros. Pictures presents, a Silver Pictures production, in association with Green Hat Films, “Project X.”
The film has been rated R by the MPAA for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, drugs, drinking, pervasive language, reckless behavior and mayhem—all involving teens.
Produced by Todd Phillips (“Road Trip,” “Old School,” “The Hangover,” “Due Date” and “The Hangover Part II”), “Project X” brings you a comedy of three overlooked high school boys who throw a big birthday bash in order to make a name for themselves. It’s more than your typical “parents out of town so the kids throw a party” movie and it turns out to be such a grand affair that the boys don’t even know how to react.
With an all newcomer cast, Phillips introduces Thomas Mann (the birthday celebrant), Oliver Cooper (the New Yorker-like friend who pushes to keep on partying) and Jonathan Daniel Brown (the quiet and awkward friend, there’s always one of them, right?).
The movie is shot in a Cloverfield-like way, with viewers seeing the film through the first-person lens (who we can thank Dax Flame for making us feel like we’re at the party too).
The boys film what students in high school experienced, and for some, what they wished they experience. This includes heavy drinking, drugs, sex and lots of hardcore raging (hence the R rating). The movie is guaranteed to bring good laughs, fresh faces and for those “ragers”, memories.
“Project X” is basically the ultimate party …and we are not talking about a pool party or a Super Bowl festivity. It’s almost the party of all parties!
The film focuses on three high school guys (Oliver Cooper, Thomas Mann, Jonathan Daniel Brown), who decide to throw a birthday bash for their best bud, the shy Thomas (Mann), who is turning 17. What was plan as a way to meet hot girls and gain popularity, their party – thanks to word-of-mouth, Twitter and Craigslist — becomes the biggest and loudest event in the neighborhood with thousands of people showing up. Shot like it was filmed by a camera man (Dax Flame) in the similar vain, as Mika said, “Cloverfield” or cinéma vérité, every behind-the-scenes action is presented in a POV (point-of-view).
The three leads are relatively newcomers, with Mann with the most experience, seen in a breakthrough supporting role as Aaron Fitzcarraldo in the 2010 comedy, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” Cooper (who plays Costa, today’s version of good boy/bad boy Eddie Haskell from “Leave It To Beaver”) and Brown (as insecure, yet lovable J.B.) are making their feature film debuts. The three have great chemistry together and make the film enjoyable as they go through their late night extravaganza.
Other members of the cast include Flame, a writer/performer who found fame posting his video diary entries on YouTube that chronicled his life as a high school student in suburban Texas; Alexis Knapp as the “hot girl” Alexis; Kirby Bliss Blanton as Kirby; and Brady Hender as Everett.
As the party grows larger than the seating capacity of a sold-out NFL game, some of the film’s plot becomes outrageous. There is a scene where a drug dealer gets really upset at the guys from stealing his precious gnomes (and his content inside). Without giving away the plot, he takes out the neighborhood out faster than Superman’s heat vision. Another unbelievable scene is when police officers come to check on a reported noise disturbance. In a very funny scene, Costa uses his best Eddie Haskell impersonation and knowledge of the law to trick the cops to leave (off hand, we have the clip in our SIDEWALKS interview). After the officers leave, they (the police force) don’t return until later in the film. You would think the cops would to do some extra surveillance before leaving the scene or, as they drive away, they should hear the echo of the party noise. But they didn’t and the party continues and grows.
All-in-all, I enjoyed watching ”Project X.” It’s a funny film – thanks to the likable leads. I think the film works because the cast are unknown, whereas a known talent would take it in a different direction and make it a star vehicle. This film caters to young adults, who will enjoy the party atmosphere, but older folks may not. The film is NOT recommended for kids and young teens, and there is very strong language, drug use, drinking and nudity.
After the film is released, hopefully, nobody wants to imitate this film. Parents may never leave their teens at home alone. Definitely, public safety departments are not ready for this super bash.