The movie opens with a shot of two naked boys walking across a college campus. This was when I knew that “by the makers of The Hangover” was all one needed to know going into this.
The movie is about two seniors, Casey (Skylar Astin, Pitch Perfect) and Miller (Miles Teller, Footloose), who take their high school best friend, Jeff Chang (Justin Chon, Twilight) on an unforgettable 21-st birthday celebration the night before a very important medical school interview.
So basically, it has everything you would expect -boobs, lesbians, sorority girls, puke, nudity, alcohol abuse, wild animals, violence and a love story. Yep. You can even add a life lesson into the mix as well.
Oddly enough, they didn’t get as raunchy as one would expect given it’s an R-rated movie targeted at young males. If anything, it just had really gross humor even though it still wasn’t as gross as Harold and Kumar or even Pitch Perfect when it came to puke. Seriously, what is so hilarious about people throwing up?
The jokes were hit or miss and the dialogue was really forced at the beginning of the movie. However, it got better as the story moved along and it found its groove.
The movie had a bit of heart and depth, all three characters had individual storylines, and there was even a bit of darkness. But in the end, they chickened out and resolved everything with an unsatisfying, rushed line. Don’t tease the audience with a big story and not follow through. Especially if your resolution leaves a plot hole. I don’t know if this was in the original script or the studio decided it was best to keep this movie as shallow as possible.
The acting in general was nothing to write home about but Justin Chon, in particular, didn’t really need to stretch much because while he was in most scenes, he didn’t have many lines and was relegated to physical humor.
There are quite a few racial jokes but the writers figured that as long as the straight man, Casey, called the idiot, Miller, out on them, it would be alright. The romance was unnecessary but I suppose they wanted to add a woman to the main cast. She didn’t really do much but appear at the right place at the right time. Having said that, the romcom-esque dialogue between Casey and Nicole (Sarah Wright) was actually pretty good.
It ended in a very cheesy way but those watching this for a juvenile The Hangover full of hijinks and ridiculous, over-the-top scenes will most likely enjoy it. As for me, I thought it was everything I expected it to be. And maybe even a little more.
21 and Over opens in theatres on March 1st.
Image courtesy of Relativity Media