21 and Over
A lazy and conformist comedy that attempts (and fails) to ape The Hangover's success
Having hit the jackpot with their script for The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore attempt to repeat their success with 21 and Over. Sadly, the duo’s directorial debut proves to be a gamble that doesn’t pay off.
The night before his big medical school interview, promising student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is coerced into celebrating his 21st birthday by best friends Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin). What ensues is a night of drunken debauchery that involves several outlandish scrapes once Chang becomes so intoxicated that he passes out.
The film attempts to replicate many of the elements that made The Hangover fun but it lacks the charm of the hit comedy and by placing the emphasis on edgy and vulgar humour often ends up just feeling offensive. For every gag that hits, there are three or four that don't.
The central trio also lack the presence that made The Hangover so memorable. Astin emerges as the best of the bunch, given his character’s slightly more level-headed tendencies, but Teller conforms to the loud, obnoxious best friend stereotype while Chon spends too much of the movie passed out to register. Come the inevitably touchy-feely climax, the whole endeavour feels lazy and conformist with little to recommend it.
General release from Fri 3 May.