Project X

“Project X is a dumb, abusive and sexist film that celebrates anarchy and drug abuse without redemption. It’s a douchebag’s fantasy.

Why should a movie about an epic party be such a drag? I sat like the designated driver incapable of having fun as bros and sorority girls in my sold out, advanced screening gawked and hawed at fellow beautiful people performing acts that were not just offensive or drunkenly stupid but were genuinely psychotic.

The party, as thrown by three high school losers, is programmed to be self-destructive. It starts as an over crowded bash that progresses first into a nightmarish orgy and then into a war zone complete with flamethrowers and a SWAT team.

Like any such party, the whole thing passes by in a blur, a giant montage stretched out over 88 minutes. And because it’s photographed in an unnecessary found-footage style that breaks its own rules and is designed to look chaotic, “Project X” is a maddening bore, with flashes of random shock comedy substituting for plot development. An aggressive midget starts punching people in the balls, an out of place adult plays beer pong, a girl shotguns a drink, and horrible things happen to a cute dog.

Because it all happens for its own sake, the whole thing seems even more degrading.

The characters are insulting and lewd without a single witty or clever thing to say. Costa (Oliver Cooper), who pioneers the whole party, is one of the most immoral main characters I’ve seen on screen in some time. The only words he knows that aren’t four letters long are pussy and titties. And no matter how much destruction is done to his parents’ house, the birthday boy Thomas (Thomas Mann) never stops being tacitly neurotic. What’s worse is he’s as dull and one-dimensional as the cool jocks that make fun of him. Why should I root for any of these slobs to get laid?

This is especially because their treatment of women is repulsive. Rarely in a movie have I seen so many faceless breasts and butts shaking to music. When such a thing happens without pretense, it objectifies women in a way that is just sad. It even encourages wild sexuality when a garden gnome is smashed open to find mounds of ecstasy pills, and the entire party scurries for one without reservation.

“Project X” is hardly the first movie to celebrate such wild behavior. Taking that into consideration, the film feels very much like a modern exploitation film, stringing together party music, viral video irreverence and softcore pornography with a flimsy plot about popularity in high school.

But if the film was dynamically edited into something more than a music video and didn’t make heroes out of teenagers who have ruined their lives in one evening, “Project X” might’ve actually been an interesting gem.

Instead, I’m left with a hazy memory and a sour, hung over taste in my mouth on the cold morning after.

1 star

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