21 And Over Review

Film Still
  • 21 And Over film still


Slo-mo fountains of puke perfectly sum up this low-balling hymn to college inebriation.

A threesome of ratbag party boys instigate a boozy blow-out for under-the-gun Asian-American brainbox Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) on the hallowed day he's allowed to finally binge on alcohol. Initially apprehensive due to a big medical school exam the following morning, Chang is eventually convinced by his "pals" Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) to go for a few swifties with the view of being tucked up by midnight.

What follows is an epically obnoxious and idiotic journey into the night as Chang gets himself paralytic and Miller and Casey have no idea where he lives. Nobody seems to know him, mobile phone batteries are all dead, police assistance is a no-no, there's no record of his address, there are no maps, so the remainder of the film is spent trying to get blotto'd Jeff Chang back to his digs before his father (played with all the cross-cultural menace of an overseer at a POW camp) gets wind of the boys' unnecessarily wacky escapade.

Miles Teller's wiseacre Miller leavens the inanity with a nice line in sub-Vince Vaughn smart-mouth cracks, but there's little else that's worthy of note in a film which breaks its back to hoodwink viewers into thinking there's a credible reason for all the enforced lunacy. Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the team that penned the first two Hangover movies, 21 And Over is little more than a tired hash of pop culture hat-tips, panty raids and stock debauchery at the expense of any naturalistic human motivation.

At the film's centre is a 'Dante's Inferno'-themed frat party that involves winning at a series of ever-more fiendish drinking games to in order to rise to the top floor of the building for an audience with the tubby, bubble-permed instigator of fun. And even though our heroes end up trumping Dudley Moore's life's work in alcohol consumption by they time they attain their victory, they waltz out the place totally sober. So the single element that's giving the entire "story" its drive only applies to the wacky Asian character. Real great…

It goes without saying that a last-ditch attempt to mine some mild empathy for these self-serving cretins, by suggesting that maybe we only drink to excess in an effort mask the chronic realities of campus life, is entirely for naught. And if anyone can tell us what the hell "beer pong" is, answers on a postcard...

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