How to tackle a review for a film with such low ambitions?
Project X is a found-footage film following three High School friends who want to throw the ultimate house party… and very little else besides. I imagine the aim of the project was simply to capture the energy and excitement of attending this “epic” party gone awry (over 1,000 party-goers in one house) as tops come off, ecstasy pills cascade from swearing gnomes, and the bass thuds from two competing DJs. In this respect the film partly succeeds; the party looks and feels authentic, though I was acutely aware that I wasn’t actually there but watching other people have fun on the big screen.
For the film to have any kind of resonance it needed to connect the audience to its characters, but the three nerds at the centre (no matter how familiar to me) were for the most part irritating boys looking to get drunk, sleep with girls with “big titties”, and attain some kind of legendary status at school. Mission accomplished for them perhaps, but I just got annoyed with the guy in the row in front who insisted on whooping and clapping like he’d never seen moving images before.
The film’s only attempt at having a semblance of plot or character arc was with the tentative romance between birthday boy Thomas (Thomas Mann) and his childhood friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton). Even this fell flat as it was given all of 10 minutes to develop and Thomas spent more screen time pursuing the token hot (and easy) girl from school. This is one time when even a pretty blonde can’t help.
I will admit to laughing a few times, particularly at the deadly serious and adolescent security guards, but with each giggle I felt a growing sense of shame. This is the type of film which includes a dwarf actor only so that he can be shut in an oven before going on a rampage, hitting a series of guys (and girls) in the groin before driving a car into the pool.
The plot (what little there is) of a wild house party and rampaging drug dealer (I forgot to mention him but refuse to go back and amend this review), is straight out of the first episode of Skins where the storyline was done in half the time and without the need for a flame-thrower.
Project X is an escalating disaster without depth, plot or character and it wouldn’t have it any other way. Amazing that a film so squarely designed as wish-fulfilment fare for teenage boys has gotten itself an 18 certificate, mostly due to the film’s lack of consequence. All this from Michael Bacall, co-writer of the Scott Pilgrim film. Tut.
Project X is out on wide release this Friday 2nd March but you are far too good for it.