Friday, 2 March 2012

Project X (2012)

Image: Warner Bros.

A found footage film about a house party that goes radically out of control, Project X has arrived on a wave of viral marketing with a stamp of approval from The Hangover director Todd Phillips. Having recently been impressed by what Chronicle managed to do with the format, we were interested to see what a found-footage comedy would be like.

Well, calling it a comedy is a bit misleading as there aren’t any jokes. If there were any, we missed them. Shooting from the perspective of horny, obnoxious teenage boys gives the filmmakers an excuse to aim squarely at their target audience, which will be mostly made up of people who are too young to actually get into the 18-rated film. If you even have the slightest inkling that you might find that kind of viewpoint sexist, offensive, and actually just boring, you’ve got the right idea.

The three leads conform to type: slightly awkward but attractive Thomas (Thomas Mann), obnoxious loud-mouth Costa (Oliver Cooper), and chubby weirdo J.B. (Jonathan Daniel Brown). There’s a token attempt at a storyline and making Thomas likeable by giving him a friend who’s a beautiful girl (Kirby Bliss Blanton, who is the closest thing to a female character), but the majority of the film is footage of a party. This means that we have a succession of shots of people drinking and dancing, girls taking their tops off, people throwing up, and so on, but none of it is actually funny. At one point it looks like things might take a dark and possibly interesting turn, but the filmmakers clearly have no interest in taking that route. Or any route that might take it away from shots of naked girls, teenagers gawking at naked girls, and people drinking.  

It’s a found footage film about a party that you didn’t go to; populated by people you wouldn’t want to party with. It’s as irritating as it sounds.



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