June 18, 2013

New Disc Review: 21 & OVER (Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy)

Starring Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon, Sarah Wright, Francois Chau. Directed by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore. (2013, 93 min).
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Is your idea of a good time watching three idiots drink enough to booze kill the world's largest mammals? Does the thought of watching one of those guys jump onto a bar and pee all over other customers sound totally awesome? Have you ever wanted to see someone vomit in slow motion? Are your favorite characters in movies totally selfish douchebags? Do you automatically giggle at the sight of boobies? Or a sorority of Latin lesbians? Or grown men walking naked in public with gym socks covering their Johnsons?

Then 21 & Over is the movie you've been waiting for. Maybe someone will buy it for your fifteenth birthday. As for the rest of you, you're better off watching The Hangover again...or even The Hangover Part II.

Long-time buddies Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) surprise their close friend Jeff Chang (Justin Chan) at his college residence on his 21st birthday. They plan to take him out to get completely hammered, but the problem is Jeff Chang has an important appointment the next morning (arranged by his domineering dad) that'll have a huge impact on his future. He can't afford to get knock-down drunk. Miller and Casey promise they'll simply go out for a few drinks and bring him home at decent hour so he'll be ready for tomorrow. Of course, that doesn't happen. During a montage of barhopping Jeff Chang (which is how he's addressed throughout the film as a running gag, though I'm not sure how that's funny) ends up so shitfaced he passes out. The problem is neither Miller or Casey remember where he lives, and the rest of the story involves these two trying to get him back home and ready for his appointment, running into all sorts of obstacles along the way, where hilarity is supposed to ensue.

Three guys having a lot more fun than you'll
have watching them.
The premise isn't all that original, but there's still the potential for a lot of laughs, which we'd understandably expect since this is the directorial debut of Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, who wrote The Hangover. While 21 & Over is very similar in structure, it's seldom funny at all. The Hangover surprised a lot of people...a raunchy comedy that was clever, funny, had likeable characters and an ingenious plot. But 21 & Over is raunchy, explicit and crude simply for the sake of being raunchy, explicit and crude. And even that's OK if we like the characters, but Miller (the movie's ringleader) is an obnoxious, self-centered asshole who treats his friends like shit.

To make things worse, 21 & Over has the nerve to turn serious on occasion, with a needless romantic subplot and some epiphanies by the main characters. At this point, that's like Bluto from Animal House pausing mid-film to ponder whether or not he's drinking too much.

But even with those 'serious' moments shoehorned in, it's almost as though Lucas & Moore went out of their way to appeal to ninth grade boys, and assumed all they needed was an abundance of drunk dudes and dick jokes. Hell, maybe they're right...I can imagine a lot of teenage boys enjoying this (laughing uncontrollably at the site of Jeff Chang drunkenly eating a tampon). But for the rest of us who grew up on classics like Animal House, There's Something About Mary and The Hangover (even Jackass)...we know raunchy doesn't necessarily mean stupid.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Featurettes: Tower of Power, Levels of Intoxication; Gag Reel; Theatrical Trailer.

(Out of 5)

No comments: