21 And Over (2013)


Two more years, and I will most likely not be doing anything featured here.

Straight-A college student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) finally has hit the ripe-age of 21 and he plans on doing only the best: partying, drinking, banging, hanging, and once again partying. His friends, Casey and Miller (Miles Teller and Skylar Astin), are more than glad to help him with this, but the night gets a bit too wild and they run into the problem of keeping control of an out-of-control, newly-21-year-old dude that just wants to be wild. Oh, being a teenager. How those were the days.

Most of the advertisements for this movie have been shamelessly advertising this as a sort of mixture between Project X and the Hangover. For their own demographic, both films have been hugely-successful and coming from a guy who hangs around a lot of d-bag, young adult guys, let me just tell you: they are constantly talked about. I would say that it’s annoying, but I’ve sort of gotten used to it by now, which is why I was not, in the least-bit looking forward to another film like them. Thankfully for me, and others out there who feel my same, exact pain, nobody will be remembering this flick for the longest time. That’s if were lucky.

Most of you out there are already probably reading this and assuming that I’m this huge stiff, that doesn’t go out, doesn’t like people, doesn’t like hang-outs that are more than 5 people, and just sits at home, watches movies, and eats Ellios Pizza all night and all day long. Some of those assumptions would be correct (I don’t mind cardboard pizza every once and awhile), but it’s not the truth. In fact, being a 19-year-old dude like myself, I actually love to party, I love to go out, I love to get wild, I love to hang with friends, and best of all, I like to wake-up on some random person’s couch the next morning, having no idea where I am or how I ended up there. Most people in life don’t enjoy things like that in life, but I do and that’s why, if anything, I just wanted this movie to remind me of that fun and loose feel that I can’t get at any of my friend’s houses, and can only get at the movies. However, that doesn’t even come close to happening. Okay, maybe once or twice, but unrealistically so.

The parties that I go to, no way in hell do the chicks look that good.
At the parties that I go to, no way in hell do the chicks look that good.

Where this flick fails on capitalizing on the party-atmosphere that most movies live-by, is that it doesn’t really have all that much energy stored inside itself. There were a couple of moments where I really felt the vibes of college and underage-drinking in the air, but they were only for a short-stack of 5 or 10 minutes. After that, it’s just back down to being a dull, boring movie that could have had a whole bunch of fun with it’s material, had they actually drank or did some crazy stuff on-set. However, everybody just seems bored as if they got into a party they heard about, found out it was lame, and decided to leave, as soon as everybody else leaves. But that’s the problem: NOBODY LEAVES!!

But hey, even if the movie isn’t as much fun as it promises, at least it’s still funny, right? Nerp! The problem with this movie is that it just breaks the cardinal-rule of any comedy: it just doesn’t make you laugh. Some moments made me chuckle here and there, and others made me think about what the person just said, and then laugh afterwards, but nothing that hit me, full-on to the point of where my stomach was churning by how much laughter was going in-and-out. This movie seems to try so hard to be part of those grungy, douche bag-like movies where all the dude’s go out, try to get laid, get drunk, get wild, get crazy, and have the wildest night of all-time, but they don’t even capture that atmosphere and just leave it at being a lame-o comedy, that has about maybe one or two laughs.

And correct me if I’m wrong people, but isn’t this the same movie from the guys who did the Hangover? Yeah, sure the sequel sucked, but at least the first one felt natural and made me howl like a banshee. This movie turned me into a banshee by how freakin’ hard they were trying to make us laugh. They even go so law as to show us two dudes making out, as if that homophobia-joke hasn’t already been beaten to death by now. “Oh my gosh!! Two guys from the same-sex making out!! Like that is so, not supposed to happen!” Yeah, okay, kids. That is totally, totally funny, I’ll give ya that……

Even what made the Hangover so damn good, was the fact that the three leads, no matter what douchey things they did throughout the whole run-time, they at least still stayed likeable and always stayed charming throughout. Here, these three guys just feel like a bunch of one-dimensional a-holes that I would want no business of being around, let alone at the same party with. Yeah, I get that they’re young and reckless and are forgiven for doing some of the more bone-headed things throughout this movie, but seriously, you can’t be THIS stupid.

Those bad-ass stoners. Always have enough energy to fuck with drunk people, and not enough energy to get off their asses, get a job, and make a difference in the world. Those stoners.
Those bad-ass stoners. Always have enough energy to fuck with drunk people, and not enough energy to get off their asses, get a job, and make a difference in the world. Those stoners.

The characters suck, but they also aren’t really backed-up by anything special either. Miles Teller seems to be really be taking a fall after his impressive-bouts in Rabbit Hole and Footloose, and is not stuck in shit, hardcore-teenager movies like these. That would be fine and all if the kid kept that charm from those two movies alive and well in these ones, but he doesn’t. Instead, the kid is just an asshole that doesn’t care much about his friends, and only wants to get trashed, do stupid things, and act like an idiot. Once again, not a bad thing to do when you’re 21 or over, but it doesn’t make the kid any more entertaining to watch. Just made me want to get in a drunken-fight with him more than anything else.

The same goes for the other two in this movie, Justin Chon and Skylar Astin (aka, a younger-Dane Cook). Both aren’t as unbearable to watch or listen to as Teller, but they still don’t bring anything to the table. They’re still bland, they’re still boring, and they still don’t really care about much else going on around them. Granted, they aren’t like total Neanderthals like Teller’s character, but they still don’t seem like they could ever, in a million years, no matter what place or time, ever be best-friends. The movie even touches on the fact of how they used to be besties in high-school, but even that feels like a cop out that could have been better left unsaid, rather than shoved in our faces as if we needed some sort of context to connect with these cardboard cut-outs of what are supposed to be multi-dimensional characters. Yeah, I may have went a bit far there, but you get my point: you don’t like these kids and you just sort of wish that they would get that last Hangover movie over with already, and make us forget about these kids, or the crap that they’re featured in.

Consensus: The people who loves these types of movies where the fun never ends, and the banger is always going-down, are probably going to have fun with 21 And Over, but for anybody else that wants more humor and substance to their party: are going to be sadly disappointed with this shite. Reminds me of a couple of frat parties I’ve been to over the years, where all I wanted to do was just beat the shit out of every dude in there. Why? Because it’s cool, that’s why!

2 / 10 = Crapola!!

The kid in the middle was my face the whole time. With the exception of the Chinese eyes.
The kid in the middle was my face the whole time. With the exception of the Chinese eyes and gay-ass emo-cut.
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24 comments

  1. Oh lawd, I’m probably going to end up seeing this because one of my friends wants to go (he’s lovely, he just happens to like these kinds of movies – even I giggled a bit at the trailer). I liked the Hangover because at the time it was sort of a rarity of this genre of ‘hard partying gone wrong’ type of film. Ooooooverkill!
    Great review.

    • Now it’s getting a bit stale, but who knows if people still like this type of genre. I don’t, but you could probably guess that. Thanks Ruth!

  2. I’m not surprised that this is bad. I can’t believe there’s people that actually likes Project X. I saw some of it and was just offended. Not by how obnoxious the lead characters are but also at the misogyny.

  3. Of course it’s going to be crap, which is sad, kinda wanted to see Skylar Astin again (Pitch Perfect crush mode still active) but I’m not gonna suffer through a bad movie just for that.

  4. Yeah this is in that category of films now that I never risk paying to go see it in a theater. The Hangover 1 was one of those gems that unfortunately has spawned a ton of imitators. Remember after the success of American Pie back in the day, all of the trash (including the sequels) that followed?
    http://www.coopsfilmblog.com

  5. I personally loved this movie, of ourse you cant go into this movie expecting it to be amazing or anything but movies like this and Project X I find hilarious. For me the dialogue was really humorous and it felt natural in a way to make the characters have their own personality and inside jokes. And I just pretty much agree with Fogs.

  6. Yeah, I also thought this was going to be reminiscent of Hangover but aren’t we getting tired of these kinds of movies already? It gets worse when it’s not even funny. Great review as always, Dan.

  7. I never saw Project X and still haven’t mustered the enthusiasm for doing so after seeing a review on Letterboxd that simply read: “It’s like the Goonies. If the Goonies were a bunch of cunts.” As for 21 and Over, I saw a few TV spots for it last week and totally agree that they’re trying to sell it as a Hangover hybrid. It looks like a pile of shit and your review confirms this, but what also angers me is that the Hangover writers can get away with this bullshit. I liked the first movie but hated the second because it was just the first Hangover set in a different location. Now they’re attempting the same bollocks outside of the Hangover franchise? It’s so dumb, yet people lap this shit up and ask for more.

    I also agree with you about not relating to the fucking idiot characters. I turned 21 in January and a rowdy party was the last thing on my mind. I went to a whiskey bar with a few close friends and spent the night with scotch and jazz music. When I told my sister what I did for my 21st birthday, she looked at me with contempt and disgust, replying with “When I turn 21 I’m going to make sure the neighbourhood knows.” What the fuck is wrong with our generation?

    Don’t even get me started on the state of current music…

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