What has the world come down to? Why do we have to suffer watching a group of friends binge drinking and having a â€œwild nightâ€? When I saw The Hangover (2009) I was unimpressed. I'd rather have fun myself than watch others do it. In other words, for me it's a total waste of time. But then we had never seen something like that before apart from our own lives. An exaggerated and over-blown version of it was new, if nothing else. Then came The Hangover Part 2 (2011), which was the same film, less funny and less exciting. 21 and Over is basically the same film with younger protagonists and less evil than Project X (2012). Worst part is every year we will have to watch these type of films over and over again. (I'm already dreading the final part of a so-called â€œtrilogyâ€)
Not so surprisingly, 21 & Over is vile, disgusting and irresponsible. Since when did delinquency become cool? What age are we living in where young adults just have to fire a gun if they happen to come by it? Since when has partying all the time and not growing up become a perfectly agreeable norm? Does Todd Phillips not go to work or do these party movies magically make themselves?
21 & Over isn't a fun film to watch but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I found a few scenes funny. Or at least a few one-liners. I would credit that to Miles Teller who plays the f***-everything kinda guy. I really like this young actor who caught my attention as he held his own against Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole (2010). If only he could put his talent to better use. Skylar Astin plays Casey, the only person in the film who looks ambitious or slightly mature. All that goes into a ditch as he becomes over-involved with a girl he meets for the first time and probably makes unrealistic life plans with her in his head, only to act on them as well.
The third friend is Jeff Chang (Justin Chon). He is the one who turns 21 and has a job interview the next day. He definitely looks like he wants to grow up, right? Wrong. But then he is also a part of the funniest montage which involves him showing his ID and entering wherever he wants but then he ends up pissing on everyone in a bar. So much for that being funny. He is passed out through the rest of the film and that's when it takes a nosedive. Guns, cops, reckless driving, nudity, racism, profanity, misogyny - all boxes are checked.
I would like to give a special mention to a ghastly scene which entails one full minute of a character puking all over in glorious slow motion. My eyes, my eyes!
Those who have to watch this film will watch it anyhow and enjoy it. It's a redundant exercise to criticize it because it's not a piece of art or claims to be. Entertainment has found many sick avenues to explore and this is just a tiny part of what could go wrong in the name of it. Whatever happened to fun movies like Animal House (1978) where stupidity is not just cool but memorable and quote-worthy? Whatever happened to teen bromances like Superbad (2007)? Why didn't filmmakers follow suit and make movies like that a thing? Fun is definitely relative.view less