Project X

Project X

Director: Nima Nourizadeh

Imagine the best party you never had. Thousands of people and limitless booze; DJs, fireworks and a flamethrower; a smorgasbord of uppers and downers; topless girls and a bouncy castle. So sets the stage for Project X, the latest incarnation of the “found-footage” genre. But instead of monsters (Cloverfield), superpowers (Chronicle) or apartheid-era aliens (District 9), Project X invites us all to, as Oliver Cooper’s character Costa brags, “the most epic party of all time.”

To begin with, Project X is less of a film as it is an “experience”. If you’re looking for a coherent plot line, well-developed characters or quality dialogue then read no further. Project X will not satiate the cinephile. But what the film lacks in substance, it makes up for in substance abuse.

It follows the misadventures of three high school “losers” as they attempt to throw a huge party to be “popular”. Are you groaning yet? Despite an initial effort to “keep it small and intimate,” the party continues to grow until it, quite literally, explodes.

In some ways it is a profound meta-analysis of our socially connected era; no longer can an event be “intimate” once it is “Facebook official”. Project X is as zeitgeist-y as it gets, but the film’s complete lack of structure is its ultimate downfall.

Director Nima Nourizadeh began his career making music videos, and that’s exactly what this feels like: Drugs, booze, and Playboy bunnies. While perfectly suited as visual accompaniment for Rihanna’s next project, the debauchery and hedonism gets old fast.

Don’t get me wrong, the party looks unbelievably fun, and living vicariously through the wealthy teens of Pasadena is escapism in its truest form. But for all its cheap gags (ball-busting midget/stoned dog), and excessive nudity, Project X fails to deliver.

Lukas Clark-Memler
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Lukas Clark-Memler.