Project X (2012)

(On TV, February 2015) I suppose that every generation deserves its own wild-party movie –or, more accurately, every generation of parents deserves the utter helplessness of seeing a movie showing the depths of depravity their offspring is said to be capable.  So it is that Project X is designed to be the wildest party-movie of the decade, showing what happens in an age of social media when a party spins out of control.  There’s a tedious found-footage stylistic element to director Nima Nourizadeh’s vision, but the real distinction of Project X is to push the excess as far as it can go.  The result are literally apocalyptic, not stopping until there’s a riot and a neighborhood in flames (not to say anything about poor daddy’s car.)  Of course the debauchery is meant to be off-putting (although one notes that for all of the film’s vulgarity, drug use and wanton destruction of property, there are other areas where the film stays curiously chaste), allowing the teenage audience to vicariously indulge into what is certain to horrify their parents.  It works fine, although Project X would have been quite a bit stronger if it had featured more likable protagonists or, at the very least, a vision of things that wasn’t quite as misogynistic in its treatment of female characters.  For all of its faults, though, Project X does have a bit of a narrative rhythm to it, and once you get used to the idea that it’s meant to wallow in excess, there is a bit of curiosity in seeing how far it’s willing to go.  For post-teenage audiences, tut-tutting is included in the admission price.

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