‘Project X’ captures the audience, won’t let go

Producer Todd Phillips loves to take risks when he works on a movie. Most producers shy away from the “R” rating so they can profit more from the film, but not Phillips.
His last three movies (“The Hangover II,” “Due Date” and “The Hangover”) have all been rated “R” and yet still made more than $1.2 billion combined.  Expect nothing less from “Project X,” which takes Phillips usual over-the-top crazy antics and applies them to three losers throwing an epic high school party.
Most viewers are wondering how anything from Phillips could shock them after seeing “The Hangover II.”  But Phillips and his band of no-name director and actors throw the party you wish you could go to but would never want to host.
The movie starts off like a documentary, following three high school losers planning a birthday party for Thomas (played by Thomas Mann).  The party takes a turn for the crazy when Coast (played by Oliver Cooper) promotes the party on Craigslist. What starts out as a great night ends up breaking any house party, drug or alcohol consumption records imaginable.
Director Nima Nourizadeh makes his big screen debut with “Project X” after directing music videos.  At times Nourizadeh’s past shines through, but the music video vibe adds to the party element of the film.
Although “Project X” is one-dimensional and provides its audience with nothing to learn, it captures the viewer and does not let go. It’s the perfect pre-game for a night of partying.  As soon as the movie is over, you feel challenged to one up the film — an impossible feat.