Project X

Project X is yet another ‘amateur/found footage’ film – but for once I was actually genuinely excited about this one. Three friends Thomas (Thomas Mann), Costa (Oliver Cooper), and JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) decide to document the birthday party they’re throwing for Thomas at his house while his parents are out-of-town. But uh-oh: bad idea to invite anyone and everyone you can. And what follows in the film is the ensuing chaos…

So does Project X live up to the hype? Yes and no really, depending on what sort of person you are. Basically, if you liked the jokes in Superbad and loved the madness of The Hangover or Old School (both films from Project X producer Todd Phillips) then you’ll probably love this. If you found those films too crass or unfunny then avoid Project X like the plague. Also if you’re looking for any more of a plot other than the party, don’t even try. Because that’s all that Project X is…and this is one of the reasons I liked it. That’s the high concept beauty of it and one of the reasons I think it works so well.

The need for Project X to be a found footage film doesn’t always come across though. Sure, you’d film your party when it’s in full swing, but would you really film you’re friend chatting to his Dad about boring stuff (with strangely pitch perfect sound even though it’s outside), followed by filming you and your friends on a drug run? Yeah, doubt it. But then when the party kicks off? WOW. The amateur footage places you right in the middle of it and makes you feel part of the anarchy. It’s at this point that you realise Project X would NOT work if it were shot as a normal film. Director Nima Nourizadeh (whose previous work has been music videos – and it definitely shows here) also had the ingenious idea of not only filming the unfolding events with his own multiple cameras, but also letting the party guests/extras film whatever they wanted on their phones or whatever, using their footage in the finished film as well and giving you multiple viewpoints.

However the one huge awful glaring flaw with Project X is the depiction of women (which is also the problem with a lot of producer Todd Phillips’s other films…). They’re not even 2-dimensional – they’re 1-dimensional. Although I suppose you could argue that when they take their tops off (which is A LOT) that their boobs add a little extra dimension to them. Not only is their depiction misogynistic, it’s completely unbelievable– would a grown woman really take her top off just coz a bloody kid told her to? Hopefully not. Also a scene at the very end between Thomas and his friend Kirby (Kirby Bliss Blanton) where a certain thing is just brushed under the carpet and forgotten about by her is just a pathetic way to tie up loose ends – surely no girl, no matter how young, is that understanding/stupid?!?

That said though I still think Project X works well. It has a brilliant soundtrack, I enjoyed it, and it made me laugh a lot (even though a part of me dies inside every time I like a misogynistic film…). A lot of people have argued that there is no plot at all to the film, but that’s the POINT (in fact I think it should have had less of a plot than it does – no dull subplots of Thomas/Kirby, etc.). It’s a mad film that isn’t trying to make excuses for itself – just a film showing some people having a good time. And what’s wrong with that? But put your tops back on ladies – please.

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~ by square-eyed-geek on March 16, 2012.

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