PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 7, 2012

‘X’ marks one party you should skip

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— The new party movie, “Project X,” features so much sexual and raunchy content that it would have been more aptly titled “Girls Gone Wild: The Movie.” This is a film designed to showcase teenage hedonism run amok. It’s certainly not something for grandma to see, although men in their early twenties will probably make it a minor hit, especially when it comes out on DVD.

Lest I sound like too much of a prude, the problem with “Project X” is not just the prurient content. The real problem with the movie is that it spends so much time trying to create the world’s most outrageous party that the filmmakers forget to give us any reason to care about the kids behind the bash. Without a compelling story or characters, or even a half-hearted stab at making this into a comedy, all we’re left with is an hour and a half of voyeurism.

The mayhem starts off by introducing us to a group of theoretically average kids. Nominal nice guy, Thomas (Thomas Mann) is celebrating his birthday and his clueless parents are leaving town. Obnoxious best bros, Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan David Brown) decide that they need to throw a legendary party that will help their social standing in school. They take to the internet for the invites and everything spirals out of control from there.

Hoards of bikini-clad babes descend upon Thomas’ middle-class house party. As if that’s not enough, we also get a dwarf who likes to punch people in the groin and a guy with a flame thrower. The neighbors call the cops, a cute doggy is tied to balloons and sent skyward and journalists arrive to cover the party. The whole thing is documented from the inside by an A-V club geek (Dax Flame) with abundant shaky-cam flair.

So what?

There’s really no point to “Project X.” You don’t care about Thomas as he tries to keep his house from being totally destroyed and Costa is such an obnoxious loser that you wonder why anybody would ever want to be his friend in the first place. We’ve seen movies like this that have worked in the past, as was the case with “Superbad” or even “Risky Business,” but in both of those films, you can empathize with the teens as everything spirals out of control. You hope that things will work themselves out because these are basically good kids who are just in over their heads.

In “Project X,” the kids are just morons who get what they deserve.

The same holds true for anybody dumb enough to pay good money to see this thoroughly dumb, soft core-sleazy and unfunny movie.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.