Project X review (Blu-ray)

Project X is a wily, cunning little beast.  It sneaks up on you from nowhere and scores a bullseye with deft precision. It's a riot and a hoot – though it doesn't present you with anything you haven't seen before. It's tale of a party that gets swiftly out of control has simply been updated for a new generation, following the tradition of anarchic humour displayed in Animal House, Risky Business, American Pie and all their lesser imitators.

Like the recent (and terrrific) Chronicle, it's all done with POV shots utilising digital cameras, cameraphones and the like. The primary cameraman is weird loner Dax (Flame) happy to film his three fellow high school seniors as they prepare for the shindig. Lanky Thomas (Mann) has the house to himself for the weekend as his parents are away and wants a cool party with only about 50 people attending. Motor mouthed Costa (Cooper) exuberantly invites a few more classmates but word travels quickly as the boys, together with overweight JB (Brown), soon see the word go out through the social network universe.

To call the ensuing party a success would be a severe understatement. Mayhem certainly erupts as about 2,000 teenagers show up – and behave exactly as you'd wish them to. The girls go topless in the swimming pool, ecstasy and copious amounts of alcohol are consumed, there's much suggestive dancing, a few bedroom fumbles and an angry midget is humiliated by being thrown into an oven. Much else happens too but it would be churlish to reveal the further "delights".

It's fast moving and vulgar but so consistently funny that any misgivings you might have are quickly swept aside. A colleague at the screening said: "Why did I never get invited to parties like that?" I'm in agreement. God, it would've been wonderful to attend a party like Project X, and this sharp comedy puts you right in soaking it all up. You almost feel as if you're there experiencing it. So leave your sophistication at home and go see it. Revel in this hilarious escapade that's done with bare faced cheek and chutzpah. It's enormous fun.

EXTRAS ★½ You do get two versions of the film – the theatrical cut, and an extended cut. But for such a terrific film, the bonus material is pretty light on: you get the featurette Project X: Declassified (5:27); the featurette Project X: Pasadena Three (5:39); and the featurette Project Xpensive: Tallying Up The Damage (3:01).

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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