Project X is a combination of massive house party + ‘found footage’ + ridiculous incidents= one really enjoyable film! It’s not wholly original, but takes elements from previous films, and takes it up a notch, doing well to almost rival films like ‘Superbad’, in terms of how fun it really is.
It focuses on the birthday of Thomas, as he and his friends Costa and J.B are planning a huge party, to take them from geeks to the most popular kids in school. With his parents away, he is allowed only ‘5 friends max’, this escalates all the way to 2000 people, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Over the course of the build-up, word gets out about this incredible party, that attracts the police, neighbours, pyrotechnics and the local news station helicopter, as things get increasingly ‘epic’.
Project X has been widely criticised by many already, only a day after its release, and I can see why, but those critics must’ve expected a ‘Godfather’-esque masterpiece, and it certainly isn’t. No, Project X is just a good laugh, the viewer doesn’t have to put much in, other than sit back, relax and enjoy the party. It’s obviously going to appeal to the teenage bracket, moreso than the middle-aged critics that slated it, but still, one would’ve thought these critics will have realised this themselves.
I’m not going to wholly defend the film though, as it should be noted that the plot, is the definition of ‘loose’. Although, to be honest, it never seems lost or mis-directed, it follows the path of any party, just taken to the extreme! The director, Nima Nourizadeh, makes his feature-length debut, his only previous work being in commericals and music videos, and that much is easy to tell, as there are quite a few montages throughout with blasting music, and hilarious events occurring. Nourizadeh is helped with the influence of producer Todd Phillips, creator of the uber-successful ‘The Hangover’ series, which Project X matches in terms of ‘ridiculousness’.
The three main characters are all unknowns too, as are the entire cast, with next to none previous acting experience. It’s said that Phillips asked for this to increase the ‘believability of the film’. And this tactic works, similar to the recent ‘Chronicle’, who’s actors weren’t recognisable to a mainstream audience, yet that pulled in millions at the box-office. Thomas, the birthday boy, is the worried host, anyone who’s ever held their own house party, will be able to relate, whilst Costa is the Jonah Hill-character, the d**k, but he does become more likeable as the film progresses. J.B is the butt of all the jokes, is probably the most likeable character due to this, and the fact he is consistently goofy throughout.
The film offers memorable, hilarious moments, such as the 12-year old security guards, and their various crimes involving tasers and breaking and entering a neighbour’s home. The uninvited dwarf who ends up in an oven, then gains revenge on both male and female’s at the party, and the various destruction that occurs, ending in the brutal sequences at the end. I also enjoyed the ‘flashcards’ that popped up at the very end explaining what happened to characters after the events, they and the interview between Costa and a TV station were very funny, and possibly hinted at a sequel, which I’d have mixed feelings about if they went ahead with one.
I also liked how that by the end, the characters hadn’t met totally happy endings, like from a Disney film, but had to deal with the consequences of their actions, well not all but MOST of them! The ‘shakey-cam’ also stayed fresh and constant throughout, even more so than the afore-mentioned ‘Chronicle’, as it never hindered, and the slick transitions between the main video-camera and various extra’s iPhone’s and Blackberry’s was brilliant. Local TV stations helicopter footage was also incorporated, and the whole device of filming was never forced, feeling natural throughout. The first person perspective it offered, combined with the thumping party playlist of the soundtrack, created the feeling you were there at the party, going hand in hand with actually WANTING to be there!
Project X far exceeded my expectations for it. It may not be totally original, but is funny and an enjoyable time at the cinemas, that whilst may not rank alongside its idol ‘Superbad’, is not far from it