DVD REVIEW: 21 AND OVER
The American college film is a sub-genre riddled with endless clichés and the writers of The Hangover trilogy, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, seem too have a list and are only to eager to tick them all off. Annoying, party animal "mate"? Tick. Too much alcohol? Tick. Ridiculous antics that in no way resemble real life? Big tick. The Hangover films may have been crass, rude and outlandish at times yet they had their moments but 21 and Over makes the trilogy look like the complete works of Chaucer.
The film follows three school "friends" Miller (Miles Teller), Casey (Skylar Astin) and Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), who for some reason is constantly referred to by his full name no doubt an attempt by the writers to constantly remind us that he is Asian. When Jeff Chang finally turns 21, his old school friends decide to head down to his college and take him on a night he won't ever forget. Yet Jeff Chang's father has other ideas, having organised an interview for medical school first thing in the morning. Cue excessive amounts of drinking, sorority house spanking and circumcising someone with a teddy bear. That last point should tell you enough about the film's comedic sophistication.
Nothing in this film feels in anyway relatable whether you attended university or not. And while these films tend to take place in a hyper-reality where the idea of a wild night fuelled by too much alcohol, poor judgement and ending in public full frontal nudity (barring a sock covering your manhood) is meant to be idolised for "banter" the idea of having to spend another minute in the company of any of these characters is unbearable. It feels like the wet dream of that gilet wearing, rugby player who use to bunch you in the arm for pointing during freshers. It's annoying, loud and always in your face.
The fact a group of people read over the script and opted to finance this film with real money and waste people's time is a worry for anyone who likes cinema. How anyone didn't pick up on the racial stereotypes is frankly ridiculous. If you manage to make it to the end of this film without burning the DVD or smashing your television set to pieces and vowing to never watch TV again just in case you ever accidentally come across the film again, you are to be applauded. Even Stifler would want to shut this party down.