Film review: PROJECT X, from Built For Speed

This film is going to have a lot of reviewers saying “maybe I’m getting old… but”.

Project X is a wild celebration – with only a hint of reflection – of teen culture gone crazy.  The basic plot reads like standard teen movie fare but the excesses of this film make the teen movies of 80’s and 90’s seem like Anne of Green Gables.

Like many a teen film it’s about the so called nerds trying to fit in with the alleged cool kids.  Nice guy Thomas (Thomas Mann) is goaded by his ultra-obnoxious buddy Costa (Oliver Cooper) into throwing a party which, after mass Facebook invitations, goes completely out of control.  Supposedly inspired, by the Corey Worthington incident, the film sees about 1,000 people converge on Thomas’s house as the party descends into rampant sex, drug gobbling, riots and even a flame thrower attack.

In addition to the scale of destruction and the obscenity of the language, the novelty of Project X is the Cloverfield-style  video look of the film. What we see is supposed to be a recording of the event by Thomas’s creepy mate Dax.

For all its 21st century edginess, hand-held cameras and references to social media – it’s still just a sexist teen movie.  Virtually every female is treated as some sort of sexual prey which is made more disturbing by the fact that these are supposed to be high school kids – although there are a few 22 year old super model types here.

There are occasional funny lines and the film initially has a kind of anarchic energy but repeated scenes of pissed idiots mugging at the camera and spewing sexist dialogue becomes tedious; it almost feels like we’re watching a 90 minute rap video.  When a film resorts to having a dwarf repeatedly punch people in the balls you know they’ve run out of ideas.

Many older viewers will undoubtedly be disturbed by the film’s questionable morality and the characters’ lack of accountability but that just means teenagers will love it even more.  After seeing this, parents will never leave the kids at home alone again.


Director: Nima Nourizadeh

Released: March 1st 2012

Running time: 88 mins

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