Film: 21 & Over
Cast: Miles Teller,Skylar Astin, Sarah Wright Justin Chon and Jonathan Keltz
Directors: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
It should be exciting to see the poster of a film say, ‘from the writers of The Hangover'. Unfortunately for 21 & Over it ends up as a gimmicky trick. Starting off as a high school campus drama the film soon turns into a nauseating ordeal that makes the genre look redundant and obnoxious.
Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) are seen parading naked through their university campus in the opening scene setting the tone for the flashback that narrates the tale of them celebrating their friend Jeff Chang’s (Justin Chon) 21st birthday. It is a big moment for him as he finally doesn't have to forge an ID to enter a club or drink his brains off!
However, a series of unpredictable events through the night but the boys in jeopardy as Miller and Casey are left with the responsibility of making sure Chang is back at home in time to attend an important interview setup by his authoritarian father the next morning. Along the way the boys end up getting ragged by a bunch of Latino sorority girls, gate crash several parties, play beer bong and end up offending every multiracial person in the cast!
The problem with the film begins from its very first frame. Every scene and dialogue seems way too rehearsed, like an attempt to compensate for the lack of a good screenplay. Most of the jokes are uninspired and awkwardly annoying.
Even the racist digs (an ode to Seth McFarlane), fall flat and end up being more unnecessary than offensive. When the one liners dry up, the makers try to use slapstick and physical humor (puking in the club, car crashes, falling off windows) to tickle you. But by then it’s too late and you end up wondering if this train wreck is ever going to get on track ?
Performances are lackluster. Despite the camaraderie between Teller and Astin, we never really participate in their celebration or feel empathetic when they have an emotional moment over their fragile friendship. Similarly Chon doesn’t have much to do for the majority of the film other than act passed out and run around naked in the streets.
21 & Over feels like a rehashed and forced attempt to recreate the splendor and spontaneity of The Hangover without any success.