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<I>Project X</I>: If <I>American Pie</I> and <I>Superbad</I> Weren’t Raunchy Enough For You…

Did you watch American Pie thinking that the movie was lacking in enough topless women, drug paraphernalia and raunchy sex scenes? Do you feel that Superbad suffered from too much clever dialogue and not enough debauchery? Are you really just in the mood for a party movie that has loud music and features more Jackass-style moments than a thoughtful plot? Then Project X may be for you.

It's Thomas' (Thomas Mann) birthday and his parents are conveniently going out of town, so he and his sex-obsessed friend Costa (Oliver Cooper) decide they are going to throw a party that makes them legen... wait for it... dary as well as help them get laid. High school boys with their simple wishes, right? Costa has even enlisted a creepy goth tech geek named Dax (Dax Flame) to follow them around and record their exploits on his handheld video camera. They are soon joined by their other friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown) and then set off on a quest to spread the word about the party (by any means necessary... including Craigslist) and obtain pot, food, alcohol, two DJs, a bouncy house and their own personal security detail (a pair of adorable underclassmen played by Nick Nervies and Brady Hender).

Thomas frets that no one will come to his party, but he needn't have worried since Costa does an excellent job of spreading the word. Soon, even Thomas' extremely hot crush, Alexis (Alexis Knapp), is there and throwing herself at the birthday boy via body shots and more. Soon the party gets out of hand, with naked girls jumping in the pool, neighbors getting tased, the cops being called, zip-lining off the roof and a lawn gnome that ends up being a piƱata full of party favors of the illegal variety. The house gets trashed, a little person gets stuffed in an oven, there are more hookups than one can even begin to count and, suffice to say, things are destroyed that can't be cleaned up with a vacuum and some garbage bags.

While the film ostensibly pretends to be found-footage of a night that they'd like you to believe is real, there some vaguely familiar faces (particularly Martin Klebba) that take you out of that fantasy. And the movie, with its brief running time, owes a debt of gratitude to all of the teen party movies that came before it, from House Party to Animal House to Can't Hardly Wait to the aforementioned Superbad and American Pie. There's even a scene that seems to be a direct homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. But what the movie lacks in originality (and it lacks a lot in that department), it makes up for with its raucous nature. The filmmaker, Nima Nourizadeh (sadly not Dax), did an excellent job in capturing a real party that's completely unsanitized and makes the audience feel like they could be part of it all (but only if they are "hot bitches," because Costa would like the "ugly bitches to stay home) by amping up the bass on the music so that the theater nearly vibrates as the people on screen bounce around.

The cast is solid, considering most of them are relatively new to the acting world, but they also look like they've been plucked from other movies. Mann has an adorable Matt Saracen quality about him, while Cooper's character is like Barney Stinson wrapped in Jonah Hill's old body and Brown's working that shaggy Seth Rogen look, though he also bears a strong resemblance to one of the actual nerds stuck on the roof in Can't Hardly Wait.

But where movies like Can't Hardly Wait had to edit out many references to drugs to make it to theaters (and American Pie was forced to cut away from some moments), all these years later, raunchiness doesn't seem to be a problem. (Honestly, we're a little surprised that this film managed to land an R rating.) There's profanity in nearly every sentence, more underage drinking then you can shake a stick at (including a particularly inventive beer bong hanging from a tree), blunt smoking and other drug-taking by even more minors, naked girls swimming and jumping in a bouncy house and other illegal or prurient activities too numerous to recount. It's trying to push the envelope of these party films (we only really objected to the poor little dog being tormented by stoned idiots), but we might have preferred more in the way of plot and character development. As it is, everyone is fairly one dimensional, which might be good for a party, but not necessarily a piece of cinema. The storylines are never quite fully developed and seem to exist to tie up some loose ends, which in turn result in cheap moments at the end that lack any emotional connection. It's a party, but one that we aren't super eager to attend again. So no Project X 2, okay, guys?

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