Project X

Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh

Starring: Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Jonathan Daniel Brown, Nichole Bloom, and Alexis Knapp

Project X has been a pretty hyped up film.  With it being marketed as "Superbad on crack" and having filmmaker Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover) on board as a producer, the movie has every reason to be awesome.  With all that in mind, I expected it to be.  I expected to laugh my ass off.  Having now seen Project X, I can say that it's not so awesome after all.

North Pasadena high school senior Thomas (Thomas Mann) is about to turn 17.  Coincidentally, his birthday happens to be his parents' wedding anniversary, so they're leaving him at home to hold down the fort for the weekend.  Realizing that he'll probably have a few friends over for his birthday, his parents lay down the rules and tell him to keep everything in order.  When friends Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) find out about Thomas being home alone for the weekend though, all those rules get thrown out the window.  Costa and JB convince Thomas to throw an epic birthday bash so they can get some girls and build their reps at school.  They make the party a little too epic though.  Attracting thousands of people, angry neighbors, and cops, these boys literally tear down the neighborhood.

A few weeks ago in my review of Chronicle, I talked about how mockumentaries are the next big thing in cinema.  I also said that there are quite a few mockumentaries that absolutely suck.  Well, once again we have a mockumentary that sucks in Project X.  The movie should be much funnier than it actually is.  Sure, I laughed during the movie, but I didn't laugh my ass off.  I certainly didn’t laugh enough to justify the price of admission. 

The biggest problem with Project X is that it tries too hard to be funny.  Regardless of the insane antics on screen, the comedy should feel natural and genuine.  We definitely don't get that in this flick.  For instance, Oliver Cooper's Costa is a certifiable asshole.  That's an undeniable fact that is made perfectly clear during the film.  He's just not a funny asshole.  Cooper tries too hard to be this obnoxious yet somehow hilarious guy.  That's a very tough balancing act that has to be made to look effortless to the audience.  The issue is that we can all tell that he's trying. This makes his character Costa just barely amusing.

Project X is a flick that pulls just about everything out of the raunchy comedy playbook.  That works for a bit but quickly runs its course.  As the film tries to be funnier and funnier, it gets crazier and crazier without delivering bigger laughs.  Project X is not some future classic that I'll watch over and over again on TBS years from now.  It's a movie I'll only watch again with a few Screwdrivers in my system.  This mockumentary gets a 0.09% rating.