Epic teenage party makes average film

Justin Marietti

Todd Phillips is the director of what was perhaps Hollywood’s biggest comedy in the past decade, “The Hangover.”

This time around, he is in the producer’s chair for the third found-footage film of 2012, “Project X.”

But could a movie about a group of high school nobodies throwing an epic party really follow up the funniest and most original comedy in years?

“Project X” largely follows three relatively unknown teenage boys: Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper) and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown). It’s Thomas’s birthday and his parents are going out of town for the weekend.

Gothic high school outsider Dax (Dax Flame) does the majority of the “filming,” which seems to be mostly done for reasons of posterity.

Although he doesn’t really seem to be part of the group, his character has relatively nothing to do with the movie, so I guess that’s sort of fitting.

Costa has decided to throw a party for Thomas (which seems to be mostly for his own gain), although it just so happens to be taking place at Thomas’s house.

However, Thomas and JB really don’t have many friends, so the beginning of the film tries to establish the idea that maybe no one will show up.

For anyone who had already seen the trailer, this element simply doesn’t work. We know that an epic party will ensue; it’s only a matter of time.

The producers claimed that this movie was like “‘Superbad’ on crack.” To be honest, that’s a rather close description of “Project X.” When I looked at these characters, I was extensively reminded of some of the characters in “Superbad.”

This especially goes for JB, a chubby Jewish kid who is constantly made fun of. They might as well have just cast Jonah Hill himself for this role.

This movie has basically everything one might expect from a found-footage film made by the minds of “The Hangover.”

“Project X” is chock full of completely over the top scenarios from beginning to end, including two trigger happy 12-year-old security guards and a flamethrower-toting drug dealer.

I read a few reviews for this film by a group of parents who found the movie to send a very negative message to teenagers: if you simply throw the biggest party possible, it doesn’t matter how much damage is done because you will be popular in school.

My advice to parents who are critical of this film is this: do not send your teenagers to any R-rated comedy that Todd Phillips has anything to do with.

They are clearly meant to be ridiculous and offensive to the general audience, and people who are willing to accept that are the ones who are likely entertained by the chaos unfolding onscreen.

“Project X” is certainly no “Hangover.” It definitely could have provided a few more laughs that aren’t triggered by dogs humping. But it wasn’t a disappointment either.

It was exactly as I expected it to be, and if you don’t look at every movie as some kind of divine inspiration, you might just enjoy it too.

Thus far, “Project X” is the funniest movie of 2012, although I imagine “21 Jump Street” might just knock it off that pedestal.