zero (out of 5)
March 2, 2012
Thomas Mann as THOMAS
Oliver Cooper as COSTA
Jonathan Daniel Brown as JB
Dax Flame as DX
Kirby Bliss Blanton as KIRBY
Directed by: Nima Nourizadeh
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I may be forty, but I remember what it was like to be a teenager. I was as egocentric and cocky as they come, but even I would have been repulsed by “Project X” had it come out when I was a kid.
The film attempts to fall into several categories, including the woefully overdone found footage genre, the all-night party movies of which every generation use as a rallying point and the raunchy high school sex comedies that push the envelope for their eras. The greatest failure of “Project X” is that it doesn’t work in any of these contexts.
Where some films (like “American Pie”) feature a key party scene, and other films (like “Superbad” and “Can’t Hardly Wait”) feature an all-night party as the key plot element, they always have more things happening. “Project X” is only about the party, and there’s no character development or semblance of plot in the film. It’s a wretched excuse for a movie, playing out like a random assortment of “Girls Gone Wild” videos mixed with the worst kind of FlipCam student filmmaking.
The plot? On his seventeenth birthday, Thomas (Thomas Mann) is being left alone by his parents. His racist and homophobic friend Costa (Oliver Cooper) blasts a message to as many people as possible that they’re having a party at Thomas’s house that night. Hundreds of people show up, and the party soon gets out of hand. The reason for the party? To make them cool. Seriously, that’s the motivation behind the characters’ actions.
Not to stoop to hyperbole, but “Project X” might very well be the worst movie ever made in the entire history of cinema. More over, it is unlikely to be matched in its awfulness from now until the end of days. Seriously, I challenge anyone to name a terrible movie, and I’m certain that it is better than “Project X.”
Something’s rotten in Hollywood when major corporate studios are cashing in on the nihilistic and over-privileged nature of teens to this shameless degree. We’re beyond a film like “Dazed and Confused” (which I didn’t particularly like, but it at least dealt with some complex characters) that glorify teen partying. These are necessary movies to help generations identify themselves. Whether you grew up with “American Graffiti,” “Porky’s” or “Superbad,” party movies serve a purpose.
But “Project X” serves no purpose. It doesn’t exist in any sort of reality because it’s a beer commercial exaggeration of a real party. For some reason, there isn’t a single parent or responsible adult in the entire city of Pasadena. These are the types of kids who whine on Twitter about not getting a new car or an iPad for Christmas or don’t know who Paul McCartney was when he showed up at the Grammys. Yet instead of putting an entire generation in its place, this batch of rich, arrogant, mind-bogglingly unsupervised high school kids are shown to be righteous in their effort to cut loose and literally give the finger to authority.
“Project X” doesn’t just glorify wildly irresponsible and destructive behavior with no consequence. It deifies it. There’s no sense of right or wrong, championing extreme levels of drug use and encouraging behavior that, in the real world, would lead to brain-damaging overdoses, violent death and rampant date rape.
This film makes even the worst reality show on television seem practically esoteric in comparison. It’s a sad state of affairs when you hope Snooki shows up to raise the quality of the production.
With less artistic integrity than the Paris Hilton’s sex tape, the found footage style is a cheap cash grab at the latest trend. “Project X” is edited together haphazardly from real party footage, which was shot during a staged party in Pasadena that received oodles of noise complaints. For some reason Warner Bros. brags about having the police called on their production of this film, which is the height of irresponsibility for an otherwise respectable studio.
Falsely marketed as a “warning to police and parents,” it is a morally vacant, putrid excuse for cinema. Just because irresponsible teens and entitled douchebag ballers want to see this movie and will likely flock to it in droves does not mean its worth a fart in the wind. After all, when has the viewing tastes of these groups of people been any sort of indicator of quality entertainment?