Wow, where do I start with this movie?
Project X is a “found footage” movie, filmed in handheld style (imagine Chronicle or Cloverfield), about three high school students that end up throwing the biggest party in high school history (take that 16 Candles). The story focuses on Thomas Cubb (Thomas Mann) who is turning 17 and wants to host a birthday party, as soon as his parents get out of town. Encouraged by his two friends Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) to deliver the best party ever, the film follows their antics as the party turns into an unstoppable force, with well over 1,500 people showing up.
Imagine all the high school (or college) parties you ever went to – remember the ones that got a little out of control and people broke things, stole your high school’s TV studio camera, and peed in your closet? Well it’s nothing compared to Project X (and no, not THAT ‘Project X‘)
First off, I think the young actors in the film did a great job with the script and making it actually believable. While there were a couple times the dialogue seemed forced in order to keep the plot moving, the actors held their own. The character I liked most was JB, a short chubby kid who was incredibly awkward and grabbed any scene he was in. I also give credit to the director, who left long shots in the film that continue on for minutes at a time, convincing the viewers it is in fact a documentary.
The first half of the film was done really well. The set up was delivered well and the characters introduced almost immediately in their stereotypical roles. When the party finally gets going, it starts out great as a viewer — and then quickly goes over the top. The amount of debauchery and insanity that unravels as the night goes on is almost unbelievable, however, credit to the writers, because it actually seems possible in the film. But I found myself wanting the party to end as more and more things were destroyed in his house. I felt sorry for Thomas and the wrath his parents would be bringing back when they saw the house. Maybe this is a sign I’m getting old? Who knows. While Superbad featured high school students also, these kids were much more believable as high schoolers. I did learn one thing from the movie though, once I have kids, I am never going out of town.
Ultimately though, this movie is about the boy chasing the girl — Thomas after his long time girl friend Kirby — while the biggest party ever goes on around them. While stereotypical in almost every aspect, Project X brings something new to the ‘party film’ with a found footage aspect and the party all others will have to top now.
The Kibitzers give Project X 3/5 — Overall, I would recommend this movie for a rental, it’s funny and entertaining, but it’s also obnoxious. Bonus points for a great party soundtrack throughout the movie.