The 400-Word Review: 21 and Over
By Sean Collier
March 1, 2013
Here are the 10 most frustrating things about 21 and Over. Many more could be added.
1) It’s a tamer, college-aged version of last year’s Project X. This is dumb because party moves should never be tame, and because people getting laughably messed up in college is less impressive than people getting laughably messed up in high school. College hijinks have been cliche for, oh, 30 years. Also because Project X was, itself, terrible.
2) The primary cast consists of a dude from Project X (Miles Teller), a minor dude from Twilight (Justin Chon) and that dude from Pitch Perfect (Skylar Astin). These are the most famous and experienced performers in the movie.
3) The film is written and (inexplicably) directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, writers of The Hangover. Yes, The Hangover was good, but it was good because Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Ken Jeong were there to sell the hell out of a stupid script. Without them, you just have a stupid script.
4) There are no stakes. If the one dude (Chon) goes out partying — it’s his birthday — he might be sleepy for a med-school interview. That’s it. The whole movie could’ve been avoided by: going out another night; going out earlier; getting wasted anyway and waking up early; and about 50 other easy fixes.
5) The one dude (Chon) eventually passes out drunk and can’t tell them where he lives. So they wander around looking for his house for the rest of the movie. That’s the big wrinkle — they forget an address. Thrilling.
6) The main dude (Teller) is unabashedly racist, and many of the films “jokes” (all failed) are just him hurling anti-semitic and/or anti-Asian slurs at his friends.
7) The only original moment in the film is a slow-motion sequence of someone vomiting on a mechanical bull. I haven’t seen that before. Everything else is stolen.
8) At one point, a woman runs through a shot naked simply because there were more naked men than naked women in the movie, and the producers evidently wanted to even the ratio.
9) In addition to reaching minstrel levels of racial insensitivity, 21 and Over is also among the most homophobic Hollywood releases I can name.
10) Not a single moment, even fleetingly, is funny. If they hadn’t shown the movie, and I had simply sat in a silent, dark room for 90 minutes, I probably would’ve laughed more.