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If the "The Hangover" and "Project X" were fused together to make one
new film, the result would be "21 and Over." From the same writers of
the Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, "21 and Over" is a film that
taps into the college demographic by concentrating on some of the
issues that affect a lot of students throughout the United States
binge drinking, beer pong games, sex and parties.
This comedy follows three best friends who have fallen out of touch since graduating from high school and transitioning into college. They try to meet up on important occasions, in this case Jeff Chang's (Justin Chon) birthday.
Jeff Chang is finally turning 21 and with that age his best friends, Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller), believe comes a new stage in Chang's life; one filled with alcohol and girls.
Chang is a straight-A student who is preparing for an upcoming interview to gain admittance to medical school. In addition to his med school interview, Chang has to worry about his strict father who expects him to follow his family's legacy in becoming a doctor.
For his 21st birthday, Casey and Miller surprise him and take him on a night out. Chang agrees to go out on the condition that they only go for a few drinks and then return home.
They start the night off with a round of drinks, but soon enough begin club hopping, drinking alcohol everywhere they go. The night takes an unexpected turn when Jeff Chang becomes unresponsive after overdrinking.
Following the same formula used in "The Hangover," "21 and Over" attempts to win audiences over by using a lot of crude humor including many physical jokes.
Miles Teller (Miller) takes most of the spotlight with his straightforward dialogue and comedic timing. Justin Chon (Jeff Chang) further pushes the comedy bar with his use of physical humor. Skylar Astin (Casey) plays the typical preppy and awkward sidekick.
Even with a pleasant cast, the film fails to present anything original or creative. While it offers a few laughs, too many scenes are either lackluster, or exaggerated, and some of the humor is forced.
"The Hangover" was much more imaginative than "21 and Over," which has fewer plot twists and a rushed ending.
Even worse, the film reinforces all possible stereotypes including the smart Asian, the party alcoholic white male, crazy Latinas, and out of control college students.
The film is far from a masterpiece. However, if one day after a long day of class or work you simply want to have a few brainless laughs with friends, then "21 and Over" may be the movie for you.
"From the writers of 'The Hangover'" comes "21 and Over," another
comedy about people getting really drunk and then having a bunch of
crude and insane things happen to them. The difference here is that the
three leads are not trying to find their buddy; they're instead trying
to find their buddy's house. Oh, and the buddy whose house they're
trying to find has passed out and has to be carried from place to place
as the circumstances around them continue to get more dire.
Let's back up a bit. It's Jeff Chang's (Justin Chon) 21st birthday. He's a pre-med student who has a big interview the next morning. His best friends, Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin), have come to his apartment to surprise him and take him out for drinks, as is the American custom. Upon learning that the biggest interview of his life is the next day, Casey does the responsible thing and says that those plans can be postponed. Miller threatens to keep Jeff Chang up all night if he doesn't come out. "One drink," we're told. Like that's going to happen.
We don't even see Jeff Chang resist the party once it starts. He's loaded by the time we've zoomed forward in time, and only gets worse over the montage depicting the group's bar-hopping. Eventually, he's passed out and time is running out to get him home and to bed. The other two friends are from out of town -- they've all separated once college started, I guess -- so they don't know their way around. They spend nearly the rest of the film attempting to get him into bed before 7AM.
Doesn't this sound familiar? Three guys trolling around a certain location in hopes of finding something, or someone? While doing so, they find themselves in a bunch of "I can't believe it" situations, while also learning things about the others that perhaps should have been better left a secret. When Casey and Miller find a gun in Jeff Chang's pocket, and later learn that he was arrested by the police, we have a mystery on our hands. One whose conclusion is mishandled so badly that I thought there must have been an alternate ending.
It feels too similar, I suppose. We've seen movies that contain situations more shocking than this. When a guy gets run over by a buffalo -- which we don't actually get to see, by the way, because the camera cuts to black before impact -- that winds up being one of the more "crazy" points of the film. Sure, a couple of other moments are funny at the time, if only because at least one of the guys -- Casey -- doesn't seem like he deserved to be put through them, but they're kind of bland for the genre.
There are a few running gags scattered throughout -- always calling Jeff Chang by his full name being one of them -- but most of the humor in "21 and Over" comes from the situations themselves. That can work for some people. Many of you might find a lot of the film funny. It wasn't for me. Watching stupid people act pretty stupid and have bad things happen to them isn't the funniest thing in the world. Like I said, there are a few good moments, but not enough of them to fill the 90-minute running time.
Moving away from the amount of laughter, which is about all that matters in a comedy, the dialogue also leaves a lot to be desired. The film was written and directed by "The Hangover" writers, after all, so that should be expected. It's all profane and silly, and accomplishes one of two things: exposition or forced character development. The dialogue itself rarely attempts to make us laugh. That's a problem, since there's a good deal of time spent walking from place to place.
It says a lot about our main characters that they wind up being chased and/or hated by everyone they come into contact with. They wind up being hunted by at least three groups of people as the film progresses, all of whom show up seemingly at random. These groups are often forgotten about until the script calls for them to pop up for a few minutes. You forget, too, and it makes their reappearances seem to come out of the blue. Sure, the film is about these three guys -- although it's really two of them because Jeff Chang isn't awake for most of his screen time -- but if you want to continue bringing back these secondary characters, at least treat them with a little respect.
I'm sure that all of these actors have talent. Justin Chon turns in the best performance in the film whenever he's awake. Skylar Astin was in "Pitch Perfect" and fared much better there. He delivers every line with great sincerity, but that doesn't work with this type of character. Miles Teller was in "Project X," and plays the same type of role here. He isn't good in either.
"21 and Over" is pretty much the exact type of movie that you expect it to be. If you think "The Hangover" is funny, you'll probably find this movie hilarious as well. It has issues with its characters, dialogue and situations, but if you find it funny you probably won't notice. I didn't like "21 and Over," but if it sounds like your type of thing, you'll probably get some enjoyment out of it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a movie you hate from the first minute on. The characters are
unlikable and very forgettable, it has a feeling like it's trying to be
important but comes off lame and there is very little comedy in this
Another teen party movie, although them being 21 and legal is supposed to be rebellious? The Asian kid has an important meeting the next day yet his dumb friends take him out drinking, and even when he is drunk they just keep going to bars and parties and dragging him around.
In an age of cell phones, the internet, GPS and every other form of communication they can't find someones address? The guy is awake several times yet they don't ask him his address, instead they compete in party games and drink a gallon of milk.
A seriously dumb movie.
Go watch Superbad again if you want a funny movie like this.
Watched "21 and Over" last night at an advanced screening so sharing a
review for those wondering about it.
If you should use other films/media to describe "21 and Over", it is like a combination of "Hang Over", "American Pie", and "Jackass". If describing in one sentence, "21 and Over" is stupid drunkenness or drunk galore? It is an enjoyable film and I would recommend it for those who enjoy dirty slapstick humor and just college craziness. I wouldn't feel the need to watch this film again and it isn't an Oscar nominee type of film, but If you like watching drunk people, this film is for you.
I admit, I like watching this type of films from time to time, but a big reason I was interested in this film was because I liked the writers' Jon Lucas and Scott Moore's other pieces, the popular "Hang Over" film series and "Change Up". I did assume that "21 and Over" would be structured and directed just like "Hang Over but "21 and Over" does not have the story-telling abilities that "Hang Over" has nor are the story, plot, resolution, and characters anywhere as interesting. One's own experiences and perspectives change with age, and Lucas and Moore are out of touch with the current 20s generation as the dialogue, story development, and characters in "21 and Over" are old, clichéd, and stereotypical.
The movie took a while to pick up the pace. Surprisingly and thankfully Jeff Chang is not the main focus in this film, nothing against the actors (these newcomers did a great job), but the supposed main character burned through his drinking and bar scenes early on in a series of montages.
Some of the likable aspects of this movie are the timing of the stunts and how outrageous the stunts are. When it seemed like the film would end soon or run out of tricks, the characters' rolling ball of chaos just got bigger and bigger. The stunts pulled now a day for slapstick humor are getting more outrageous and openly, visually sexual. If nothing, Lucas and Moore get kudos for fresh stunts. Perhaps they spent the time they were supposed to use for brainstorming dialogue and story development, watching "Jackass" instead.
In the end this film is still enjoyable because it's not like this film's audience watches these kinds of films for the dialogue nor accurate representation of cultural identities. All that matters is that the slapstick stunts and moderate dirtiness of the film is enough to not leave a silent house. For sure, the high school kids during the advanced screening got a kick out of it, hoping their college life can be that fun? Crazy at least.
Review by WendyXS@FeiXiangFilms
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is pretty bad, the story is quite bad as well. 3 friends get wasted, and then they do some crazy stuff, It's a bit overused. Also those racist jokes are so bad, especially with 2 Serbian thugs, classic propaganda about Serbians being terrorists mean and rude people. I rated it 3, It has funny moments, but it's like you read scenario and you know what will happen, it's too obvious. But then again, I guess if you are 15 years old you will find this movie very entertaining, If you are a bit older with some experience with parties drinking, you will face palm. I understand it's a movie but it's too American, parties getting wasted, and at the end you make everything right.
This film is about the first 24 hours of a straight A student's 21st
"21 & Over" is a toned down college version of "The Hangover". The plot is very similar to "The Hangover", and it is wearing thin. Though the parties are ridiculous and the alcohol is plentiful, we all know what will happen and hence the plot does not have the same entertaining effect as the first time around. Fortunately, the subplot of testing the strained friendship and standing up for oneself is a bit refreshing, so "21 & Over" sets itself as slightly different from its parent clone. The Asian female student who swears a lot is the most memorable character, and she deserves a special mention. Her one minute of screen time is so unexpectedly crazy! "21 & Over" is an average comedy, if judged on its own merit. But please, enough with the "The Hangover" clones.
"21 and Over" could celebrate that miraculous moment when the final barrier to adulthood falls by the wayside, as the act of legally buying alcohol instantly goes from forbidden act to routine. However, the movie just uses the moment as a springboard to a cynical college-age "Hangover" redo with far fewer developed characters and even less inventive adventures. This is the directorial debut of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who wrote "The Hangover (2009)." "21 & Over" pretends to take chances even as it retraces the same sequences we've already seen in movies like--well--"The Hangover." It's hard to completely hate "21 & Over," but you cannot really laugh at it either. The most you can do is just pity it for not being as outrageous as it thinks it is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The character of Miles is the most annoying person on the planet.
Horribly acted by the actor who plays Jeff Chang. Nothing he says comes
off as believable.
The dialogue between Sarah Wright and the other male lead is horribly written.
Not only is this movie not funny; it is a very predictable story line.
Caution! you will see two of the male leads make-out.
How people rate this movie above 5 is beyond me.
They joke about incest in the beginning of the movie also.
I would be embarrassed to even be associated with this movie. This is worst movie i've seen in a while.
'21 & over' is the latest buddy comedy inspired by 'The Hangover.' It
has a similar story to 'The Hangover' except the drinking rampage is
the story rather than the morning after.
This film was surprisingly good! I think the last film I saw was 'Movie 43' and that made me lose faith in laughter and happiness Anyway, '21 & over' certainly isn't the funniest comedy ever but there are a decent amount of laughs and cringe moments. Of course, towards the end the story does go totally over the top. This is a modern classic aspect of American comedies these days so I guess it is just something we will have to get used to. Thankfully, it doesn't really send the film into a downward spiral as it is still redeemable.
The characters in this film are all pretty funny in their own way and the characters you are supposed to like are genuinely likable. The story deals with a lot of important issues in a bizarrely light-hearted manner which is quite odd. A lot of the supporting characters are really funny so you're glad to see them each time they pop up throughout the film. I anticipated a lot of rubbish, cheap racist Asian jokes to be dotted all over the script but only a few did and they were from a character that seemed like the kind of person who would say those kinds of jokes. This was quite relieving, the film did its best to make jokes and references that people of a similar age would recognise and find funny.
Overall, this film is nonsense but the people who created it know this and don't try to pretend it's anything else. This is a good film to watch with your friends and I imagine, once it is released on DVD, will be a popular film for drinking games. Beer Pong anyone?
Ironic that, although this piece of American college dross is titled 21
& Over, it's hard to imagine that it would appeal to anyone over the
age of fifteen.
The plot, such as it is, has already been covered. To flatter it with a further description would be giving it credit that it doesn't deserve.
In my opinion (and I admit that I am way out of its' targetted age range) it is humourless, devoid of any charm and it's hard to imagine that it earned enough to pay for its making.
This genre of movie, if it still has a future, can be done so much better. The comparisons with The Hangover are obvious and an indication of how tight direction, a genuinely funny script and talented performers can make all the difference. This offering has none of those.
There are capable actors in the cast and they deserve better but may struggle to maintain any credibility for a while with this on their CV.
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