Recently, a great film called Chronicle came out. It was a ‘found footage’-film, as was another recent picture called The Devil Inside. One might ponder on just why either of those films needed to be shot the same way The Blair Witch Project or Apollo 18, but trust me when I say that those two films can easily be forgiven after one sees Project X.
Project X is the latest from a genre known aptly as the party movie, which typically shows us a bunch of unpopular teens rising to popularity at the wildest party one could ever imagine. This picture, however, is told through the hand held camera of one of the teens at the party which I would be okay with if the party and its guests were vanquished by a J.J. Abrams-monster 20 minutes in.
Thomas Mann plays bland-meister Thomas. He is about to turn 17. To celebrate him going from a boy to that tedious year between being boy and man, his freinds Costa (Oliver Cooper) and J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown) plan to throw an enormous party at his house. Not just any party, but the biggest party in the history of history. There will be drugs, there will be swimming pools, there will be drinking, there will be cars in the swimming pools and there will be drinking. Did I mention drinking?
You know what happens. Things get out of hand and the party derails to the point of chaos all over the neighbourhood. This is where the film, to be honest, starts to be sort of funny. Especially amusing is the bit where we find out that the party is so insane that it makes it on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
As with many party films, the primary objective of our protagonist is to have sex with the hottest girl at school. I can get behind a plot like that if the hot girl in question comes with any form of personality. In Project X she is only there to be slept with. She should’ve been in Transformers 3.
I like parties. Movies like Project X makes me want to go to one. Maybe I’ll be lucky to see an actual car drive into a swimming pool without having to watch a tedious movie simultaneously. Good Lord, I do miss summer.
Something that made me laugh more than anything in this movie was the way the characters talked. I was just laughing my arse off at how these cardboard characters sound more like parodies of the teens they’re intended to be. Random cursing, constant references to sex, the usage of “man”/”dude” as punctuation; this dialogue sounds absolutely nothing like the way teens talk and much more how adults think that teens talk, which cracked me up. Let me assure you that we tend to sound a bit more, well, human that this film claims.
The best word I can think of to describe Project X is ‘unnecessary’. Consider the Paranormal Activty-movies. They use ‘found footage’ in the most effective and eerily scary way possible, even if it gets slow at times. Then we have Cloverfield, which uses the concept in an even more frightening plus disorienting way. Chronicle cleverly played with the idea and was lovely. Project X is merely a boring party movie where there exists no discernible reason for the ‘found footage’-gimmick whatsoever.
As if that wasn’t enough, Project X takes a few moments to break its rules by having a soundtrack and showing sometimes random shots of, for instance, young women’s buttocks under water. Who shot that stuff? It can’t have been one of the lead teens. My guess is that Michael Bay was just around the neighbourhood at the time, snuck into the party and used his waterproof camera to shoot some extremely vital ass footage for his next alien-movie.
The characters aren’t engaging, the gags are only rarely funny, the dialogue is unbelievably stupid and I suspect that the original film, the Project X starring Mathew Broderick, is more enjoyable. This is nothing but a remake of a presumably better film that employs a tired storytelling gimmick more pointlessly and inexplicably than ever. Is it fair to conclude this review by saying that I, proudly, just don’t get it?
When I searched for this movie at a site to read more about it, the result that came up after it was The Blair Witch Project. This reminded me sadly of what better ‘found footage’-films I could’ve seen instead.