High school. The new movie Project X captures it perfectly. Well, high school parties at least. These were common affairs for me, at least once a week. If not more. Thousands of teenagers. Naked women. Sex. Drugs. Alcohol. Riots in the street. Flamethrowers. Mass destruction.
Okay, to be fair, my high school days weren't quite like that. Those parties only happened once every two months or so.
Project X nonetheless boasts to be the party of the decade, as if all high school students - sorry, the cool ones - aren't doing things like this every chance they get. Still, I must give credit to Hollywood for accurately portraying parties how they are in real life. And for emphasizing the fact that there are no consequences. That aspect is spot on.
Project X is one of those movies that critics will hate. I know because all the critics that reluctantly attended the screening of this aimless movie hated it. And because it has no plot, cardboard characters and shameful dialogue.
But you know what? Audiences, at least those in their teens and 20's, may like it. Project X is a stupid, eye rolling movie with no redeeming value whatsoever. It isn't clever and it isn't realistic (yes, I was being sarcastic earlier), and it appeals to the lowest common denominator. But it's also a glossy MTV music video full of girls shaking their asses - and their breasts - and young people doing stupid things young people do, or at least the stupid things young people would like to do if there weren't consequences for their actions.
And you know what else? As a critic, I hate to say it. I squirm just thinking about it. I can picture the other critics staring at me, their eyes judging me, their thoughts disdainful. I actually... sort of... enjoyed the movie.
Project X is a terrible movie - I keep repeating that to myself - but it's entertaining. For all the stupid, crazy antics that occur, director Nima Nourizadeh manages to make those stupid, crazy antics fun to watch. Not everyone will agree - my fellow critics don't - but based on the reactions in the preview audience, Project X is escapist good fun.
Okay, "good" is a strong word. The movie really is quite awful. But it's the best kind of awful: it's flashy, it's fast-paced and it's ludicrously over-the-top.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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