21 and Over Review
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Every year, we get at least one big party movie—the kind of wild and crazy comedy that’s best enjoyed after consuming a beer or five. This year, though, rookie directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (previously known as the guys who wrote The Hangover) have managed to turn the usual college party flick into something more in 21 and Over.

In the years since they graduated from high school, old friends Miller (Miles Teller), Casey (Skylar Astin), and Jeff (Justin Chon) have slowly lost touch. But when Jeff’s twenty-first birthday rolls around, Miller and Casey show up at his door, eager to take him out to celebrate.

At first, Jeff turns them down. After all, he’s got his first big med school interview in the morning, and his stern father (François Chau) expects him to be alert and prepared at 7 a.m. But Miller won’t take “no” for an answer—and the three soon set out on a booze-fueled adventure of epic proportions.

This kind of outrageous comedy is rarely done well. Party flicks like 2012’s Project X (and even movies like The Hangover) tend to be little more than an endless string of ridiculous, I-can’t-believe-they-did-that scenarios with no real purpose—apart from being as crude and obnoxious as possible. But 21 and Over is different.

Sure, it’s still crude and obnoxious—and it’s still filled with all kinds of over-the-top (and sometimes cringe-worthy) adventures—but there’s actually more to 21 and Over than just a night of drunken revelry. There are consequences for the characters’ actions—and somewhere in the midst of the epic college parties, the fights, the car chases, and the characters’ other inebriated exploits, there are messages about things like friendship and growing up. There’s even a touch of mystery, as Miller and Casey gradually uncover clues that their old friend might not be the same happy-go-lucky, straight-A student that he once was. Best of all: the film manages to mix in those moments of bromance without making them feel sappy or even the slightest bit unnatural.

The characters, meanwhile, are surprisingly charming. While similar movies are filled with one-note characters that become more annoying with each shot they consume, these guys are consistently likable. Poor Jeff Chang makes an adorable drunk—and even Miller, the movie’s loud, obnoxious party leader, is given a few thoughtful moments.

Of course, if you’re just looking for a wild and crazy party movie, don’t worry; 21 and Over is still wild enough and crazy enough for the late-night party crowd. But, thanks to its likable characters and smart story, you don’t have to be drunk to enjoy it.

Blu-ray Review:
The Blu-ray release of 21 and Over isn’t exactly loaded with extras—but, as you might expect, it’s full of laughs and drunken shenanigans. In addition to a giggle-filled gag reel, the disc includes just two other special features. Levels of Intoxication explores the various stages of drunkenness that Jeff Chang experiences, once again showing just how hilarious Justin Chon is. And Tower of Power recaps the eight levels of the dorm’s drinking game challenge—from beer pong and keg stands to suck and blow.

The extras on this release take only 10 minutes or so to watch—and they’re amusing enough that they’re well worth a few more minutes of your time after you finish watching the movie.

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