Project X (2012)

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Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh

‘Project X’ was a film I’d put off watching for some time. The trailer suggested it was a found footage American lad movie. Although this is the kind of film I’ve grudgingly adored over, reminding me of adventures from my own lad years when I would frequently puke a vodka and red bull rainbow into a kebab tray every other week, somehow these films get harder to get watch as I become more decrepit. ‘Animal House’, the first ‘American Pie’ film, ‘Road Trip’, ‘Old School’ and ‘Superbad’. They don’t make em’ like they used to. I shake my zimmer frame and bite down on my false teeth at the youth of today.

Critics have labelled the film misogynistic, crude and suggested the lead characters lack any redeemable qualities whatsoever. But more so then any of these type of films I think ‘Project X’ accurately reflects a teenage boys mind-set, more so then even the classics did for my generation. Putting it bluntly it was all about pussy and pints. Aged seventeen I had a one track mind like the rest, and in my social group I was supposedly the sensible shy and sensitive one.

The film is shot through the eyes of a teenage boy; therefore inevitably it will be clunge central. There is no fiercely defiant female character; in fact there is no defined female character whatsoever. The kooky tomboy best friend goes down like all the rest. It’s bleak, but that’s the way it is.

Unsurprisingly the hedonistic chaos has proved popular with thousands of young folk who after watching this movie have responded to a random Facebook invite, turned up to the party and trashed somebody’s house without a second thought, because you know, like, #YOLO.

Directed by Nima Nourizadeh, a visionary in producing iconic mid-noughties music videos such as Hot Chip’s ‘Over and Over’ and Santigold’s ‘L.E.S. Artistes’; any hope of art house flair seems to be diluted by Todd Phillip’s influence as a producer. Now, I like a fair chunk of Phillip’s work, but I see little evidence of Nourizadeh’s work here, he seems rather overshadowed. Several great Hollywood directors have directed Music Videos, most notably David Fincher, and you can see elements of his work that can be traced back to those days where he infiltrated MTV. Aerosmith’s ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’ has a ‘Se7en’ vibe for example. But scenes here don’t seem all that different from what you might’ve seen in ‘The Hangover’ franchise, particularly when all breaks loose towards the end as Molly is well and truly popped.

Thomas, Costa, JB and Dax are the Jim, Kevin, Oz and Finch of their time. And though they share that American high school lad’s desire for legendary status by throwing a helluva party; they also reflect the self-absorbed me generation. Thomas is easily led, the son of two wealthy parents, Costa is the obnoxious irresponsible one, JB is the sensitive overweight geek and Dax is the weirdo. All of them are teenage idiots. So was I when I was there age.

Project X

The real stars of this film are Everett and Tyler, the two overenthusiastic younger kids who act as security for the house party. They provide the same brand of light relief that lapsed authority figures that Seth Rogan and Bill Hader gave us in ‘Superbad’. They provide most of the laughs, but maybe a lot of the jokes just went over my head. I’m think I’m probably now too old to really appreciate this shit…

– RJW
4/10

Project X on IMDB

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