Eric D. Snider

21 & Over

Movie Review

21 & Over

by Eric D. Snider

Grade: C+

Released: March 1, 2013

 

Directed by:

Cast:

"21 & Over" is a more uneven, junior version of "The Hangover," written and directed by the same men who wrote that film, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Set over the course of 24 hours at a fictional university in the Pacific Northwest, the raucous, bro-centric comedybauchery has Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller) visiting their old high school friend Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) on campus to celebrate his 21st birthday. Jeff Chang (they always call him by his full name) has an important interview tomorrow morning for medical school, and the responsibly-minded Casey is willing to make it an early night out of consideration. But Miller, a full-time partier, casual racist, and motor-mouthed douchebag, won't allow it. An evening of bar-hopping ensues, followed by Casey and Miller's desperate attempts to get an unconscious Jeff Chang home by 7 a.m.

The premise is thin: the fellas don't know Jeff Chang's address, and he's too plastered to tell them, so they spend most of the night chasing leads while dragging him around, "Weekend at Bernie's"-style. (There is no student directory? Jeff Chang's phone doesn't have any contacts in it?) Campus life doesn't make much sense, either -- there's a pep rally taking place at 1 a.m. on the eve of spring break -- and the whole thing feels hasty and under-thought, a series of "outrageous" gags hung on a flimsy framework. But the film has its share of laughs, too, mostly in the snarky banter between old friends Casey and Miller and in the gleefully offensive tone of the dialogue. Some more revisions of the screenplay and this could have been a minor meathead classic instead of disposable junk.

Grade: C+

Rated R, pervasive harsh profanity, a lot of vulgar dialogue, abundant nonsexual nudity

1 hr., 33 min.

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