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“Project X” (Sadly, Not The One With Monkeys)
August 30, 2012Posted by on
Last week, through a work-related event (don’t ask), I had the misfortune of watching 2012’s Project X. The film, done in a “found footage” style, features three nobody high school students (four if you count the cameraman) who decide to throw a house party that radically gets out of control. Personally, I do not know why this movie is called Project X. That title has virtually no meaning to the events depicted. The film should have been called Entitled and Privileged White Kids, because that is what the film is essentially about.
There are a lot of problems with this movie, and I do not know where exactly to begin. I think one of the issues I had was that none of leads are really likeable and incredibly clichéd. You have the whiney priss, the douchebag who thinks he’s cooler than he actually is, and the overweight dimwit. While that is not a problem in itself (every movie has clichéd characters), the film does not do anything original or interesting with them. Also, none of them have any sort of character arc in which they push the action forward. Instead, it is an hour and a half of them reacting to things with the exact same attitudes again and again. A big case of rinse and repeat.
The only time the movie breaks away from that, is when birthday boy Thomas (Thomas Mann) waivers from being panicked at the out of control party to being completely fine with it. No explanation is given on why he has these attitude changes. Maybe he’s bi-polar.
What also hurts the film is that it is labeled as a comedy, but it is not really funny. I do not mean in the subjective sense; I mean that the movie does not have any humor in it. Granted, there are some funny lines when the characters riff on one another, but the majority of the humor attempted in the movie stems from how outrageous the party continues to get. Humor comes from the unexpected. However, there still needs to be some context for that humor to work. Instead, the film presents random crazy things happening which are completely outside the control of the characters. That kind of thing can work occasionally, but it fails if that is the primary source of comedy stretched over 90 minutes.
What really bugged me about the movie is that these characters have this party which nearly destroys a neighborhood, and it is depicted as being virtually consequence-free. Granted, Thomas is said to have very large legal issues to deal with, but the film plays that off like it is no big deal (the other characters got out of any legal trouble). Additionally, the film ends on a very strange message in that as long as your parents are amused and you become popular at school, then it is okay if you live a life of debauchery and nearly destroy a neighborhood.
Really? REALLY?! Maybe the filmmakers were trying to be subversive, but the movie did not play it off like that at all.
Do not waste your time here. It is bad, and not even entertainingly bad. Project X is a stupid film with no redeeming, original, or interesting elements. Go watch The Room instead.