21 And Over

Reviewed for Metro’s Home Entertainment section:

Essentially The Hangover with college students, this inebriated fratboy comedy charts a wild night of boozy debauchery for three former best friends. Looking to party, estranged buddies Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) coerce their old pal Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) – who’s always referred to by his full name – into having a beer or two in celebration of his 21st birthday. The problem, however, is that Jeff Chang – see – has got to be up early in the morning for an all-important interview, and therefore can’t afford to hit the sauce too hard. There’s a wild night, of course, and a subsequent mystery-puzzle for the guys to solve, as Miller and Casey are forced to work out where Jeff Chang lives in order to get him home after he passes out drunk.

Written and directed by the same duo who penned The Hangover (namely, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore), similarities and comparisons are perhaps inevitable. At its worst, the film exists as a broad and generic campus comedy, playing like an intoxicated mash-up of Project X and the lesser American Pie sequels. In fairness, the setup is fine for this sort of thing, but the plot grows increasingly contrived as it strains to give the guys new obstacles to overcome (such as a series of drinking games at a house party). At its best, though, 21 & Over is often mildly amusing, while the occasional ‘serious’ scenes touch on interesting material about the realities of growing up and growing apart from your high school friends. Shame there isn’t more of that.