Project X Review
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When I was in high school, life was pretty low-key. I wasn’t one of the popular kids. I wasn’t one of the rowdy kids. And Friday night “parties” for my lovably geeky group of friends typically involved lots of pizza, funny movies, and sleeping bags. I was well aware that there were cooler kids having cooler parties, but I never felt the need to attend. And now, after seeing the mess that is Project X, I’m all the more relieved that I never tried to fit in with the party crowd.

Project X is pretty much the same old teen party movie—just, well, less so. More than formulaic, the story is pretty much non-existent. It follows three high school geeks—Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown)—as they prepare for the party that’s guaranteed to change their lives (and their reputations) forever.

With Thomas’s parents leaving town for the weekend, over-confident troublemaker Costa decides to throw Thomas the best 17th birthday party ever. Thomas sees it as just a casual gathering—just big enough and cool enough to get some attention—but Costa sees it as their chance to do something huge.

Of course, in Costa’s wildest dreams, he could never imagine just how huge the party could be—and it quickly begins to spiral out of control.

From there, Project X is little more than a long, shaky High School Kids Gone Wild video—just an endless free-for-all of booze, drugs, and topless high school girls. It’s immature and excessively crude and generally obnoxious. And, despite the stomach-turning shaky cam—which, of course, is meant to make it look like it really, truly happened—there’s nothing even remotely realistic (or even slightly interesting) about it.

In a movie like this one, things like plot and character development clearly don’t matter. But, if you do happen to care about things like that, you’re sure to find the characters stereotypical and annoying. From spineless, mild-mannered Thomas to bold, brash, and foul-mouthed Costa, a low-rent Jonah Hill who’s in complete denial of his own geekhood, they’re characters that have been done a million times before (and, generally, with more lovable results).

Still, the lack of story and the irritating characters are just small offenses when compared to the film’s overall message. It seems to offer up a completely ridiculous and entirely irresponsible declaration that nothing in life matters more than teenage popularity and the attention of a pretty girl. Project X preaches that it doesn’t matter what kind of damage you do to your surroundings, your future, or the greater good; if a bunch of high school kids think you’re cool, you’re clearly set for life.

Overall, Project X is simply too shaky and immature for adult consumption—and its R rating makes it inaccessible for the teenage geeks who might enjoy imagining themselves in the midst of its half-assed story. And, in the end, that leaves it with a pretty small audience—one that probably won’t reach far beyond drunken frat boys and pedophiles.

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