Since the keys to Hollywood were left to teenagers years ago, an empty destructo-comedy like "Project X" — about unsupervised suburban youths throwing the ultimate home-wrecking hellraiser of a party — seemed inevitable as a movie metaphor for a pubescent demographic run rampant.
Produced by filmdom's kingpin of no-no-not-that comedy, Todd Phillips ("The Hangover" and its sequel), "Project X" whipped up a well-marketed frenzy in recent months over its teaser trailers that suggested audiences couldn't imagine how irresponsibly bonkers a high school bash could get. But is it really a spoiler to reveal such decadent selling points as excessive drinking, bared breasts, ogled bottoms, recreational drug use, injurious stunts and the nonsanctioned use of Daddy's Benz?
Even the late arrival of a flamethrower doesn't have the shock value the filmmakers think it does, because it comes courtesy of a whack-job character introduced in the first act, whom any self-respecting connoisseur of things-going-wrong movies — especially ones by Mr. Phillips — knows was destined for a reappearance.
In fact, the only way to describe this movie's trio of party-throwing protagonists is numbingly predictable, as if writers Michael Bacall and Matt Drake had "Superbad" on a loop in the background: There's quiet student Thomas (Thomas Mann) looking to get laid; his obnoxiously crude bestie Costa (Oliver Cooper) looking to get laid; and nerdy, overweight third wheel JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), looking to get laid.