Synopsis

When Straight-A college student Jeff Chang's two best friends take him out for his 21st birthday on the night before an important medical school interview, what was supposed to be a quick beer becomes a night of humiliation, over indulgence and utter debauchery.

Director

Jon Lucas

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by shabel-c 5 /10

A much watered down, less college version of the Hangover

If the "The Hangover" and "Project X" were fused together to make one new film, the result would be "21 and Over." From the same writers of the Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, "21 and Over" is a film that taps into the college demographic by concentrating on some of the issues that affect a lot of students throughout the United States — binge drinking, beer pong games, sex and parties.

This comedy follows three best friends who have fallen out of touch since graduating from high school and transitioning into college. They try to meet up on important occasions, in this case Jeff Chang's (Justin Chon) birthday.

Jeff Chang is finally turning 21 and with that age his best friends, Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller), believe comes a new stage in Chang's life; one filled with alcohol and girls.

Chang is a straight-A student who is preparing for an upcoming interview to gain admittance to medical school. In addition to his med school interview, Chang has to worry about his strict father who expects him to follow his family's legacy in becoming a doctor.

For his 21st birthday, Casey and Miller surprise him and take him on a night out. Chang agrees to go out on the condition that they only go for a few drinks and then return home.

They start the night off with a round of drinks, but soon enough begin club hopping, drinking alcohol everywhere they go. The night takes an unexpected turn when Jeff Chang becomes unresponsive after overdrinking.

Following the same formula used in "The Hangover," "21 and Over" attempts to win audiences over by using a lot of crude humor including many physical jokes.

Miles Teller (Miller) takes most of the spotlight with his straightforward dialogue and comedic timing. Justin Chon (Jeff Chang) further pushes the comedy bar with his use of physical humor. Skylar Astin (Casey) plays the typical preppy and awkward sidekick.

Even with a pleasant cast, the film fails to present anything original or creative. While it offers a few laughs, too many scenes are either lackluster, or exaggerated, and some of the humor is forced.

"The Hangover" was much more imaginative than "21 and Over," which has fewer plot twists and a rushed ending.

Even worse, the film reinforces all possible stereotypes including the smart Asian, the party alcoholic white male, crazy Latinas, and out of control college students.

The film is far from a masterpiece. However, if one day after a long day of class or work you simply want to have a few brainless laughs with friends, then "21 and Over" may be the movie for you.

Reviewed by rebecca-ry 6 /10

Doesn't pretend to be anything other than a dumb comedy

'21 & over' is the latest buddy comedy inspired by 'The Hangover.' It has a similar story to 'The Hangover' except the drinking rampage is the story rather than the morning after.

This film was surprisingly good! I think the last film I saw was 'Movie 43' and that made me lose faith in laughter and happiness… Anyway, '21 & over' certainly isn't the funniest comedy ever but there are a decent amount of laughs and cringe moments. Of course, towards the end the story does go totally over the top. This is a modern classic aspect of American comedies these days so I guess it is just something we will have to get used to. Thankfully, it doesn't really send the film into a downward spiral as it is still redeemable.

The characters in this film are all pretty funny in their own way and the characters you are supposed to like are genuinely likable. The story deals with a lot of important issues in a bizarrely light-hearted manner which is quite odd. A lot of the supporting characters are really funny so you're glad to see them each time they pop up throughout the film. I anticipated a lot of rubbish, cheap racist Asian jokes to be dotted all over the script but only a few did and they were from a character that seemed like the kind of person who would say those kinds of jokes. This was quite relieving, the film did its best to make jokes and references that people of a similar age would recognise and find funny.

Overall, this film is nonsense but the people who created it know this and don't try to pretend it's anything else. This is a good film to watch with your friends and I imagine, once it is released on DVD, will be a popular film for drinking games. Beer Pong anyone?

Reviewed by Marter2 N/A

It's Exactly What You Expect

"From the writers of 'The Hangover'" comes "21 and Over," another comedy about people getting really drunk and then having a bunch of crude and insane things happen to them. The difference here is that the three leads are not trying to find their buddy; they're instead trying to find their buddy's house. Oh, and the buddy whose house they're trying to find has passed out and has to be carried from place to place as the circumstances around them continue to get more dire.

Let's back up a bit. It's Jeff Chang's (Justin Chon) 21st birthday. He's a pre-med student who has a big interview the next morning. His best friends, Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin), have come to his apartment to surprise him and take him out for drinks, as is the American custom. Upon learning that the biggest interview of his life is the next day, Casey does the responsible thing and says that those plans can be postponed. Miller threatens to keep Jeff Chang up all night if he doesn't come out. "One drink," we're told. Like that's going to happen.

We don't even see Jeff Chang resist the party once it starts. He's loaded by the time we've zoomed forward in time, and only gets worse over the montage depicting the group's bar-hopping. Eventually, he's passed out and time is running out to get him home and to bed. The other two friends are from out of town -- they've all separated once college started, I guess -- so they don't know their way around. They spend nearly the rest of the film attempting to get him into bed before 7AM.

Doesn't this sound familiar? Three guys trolling around a certain location in hopes of finding something, or someone? While doing so, they find themselves in a bunch of "I can't believe it" situations, while also learning things about the others that perhaps should have been better left a secret. When Casey and Miller find a gun in Jeff Chang's pocket, and later learn that he was arrested by the police, we have a mystery on our hands. One whose conclusion is mishandled so badly that I thought there must have been an alternate ending.

It feels too similar, I suppose. We've seen movies that contain situations more shocking than this. When a guy gets run over by a buffalo -- which we don't actually get to see, by the way, because the camera cuts to black before impact -- that winds up being one of the more "crazy" points of the film. Sure, a couple of other moments are funny at the time, if only because at least one of the guys -- Casey -- doesn't seem like he deserved to be put through them, but they're kind of bland for the genre.

There are a few running gags scattered throughout -- always calling Jeff Chang by his full name being one of them -- but most of the humor in "21 and Over" comes from the situations themselves. That can work for some people. Many of you might find a lot of the film funny. It wasn't for me. Watching stupid people act pretty stupid and have bad things happen to them isn't the funniest thing in the world. Like I said, there are a few good moments, but not enough of them to fill the 90-minute running time.

Moving away from the amount of laughter, which is about all that matters in a comedy, the dialogue also leaves a lot to be desired. The film was written and directed by "The Hangover" writers, after all, so that should be expected. It's all profane and silly, and accomplishes one of two things: exposition or forced character development. The dialogue itself rarely attempts to make us laugh. That's a problem, since there's a good deal of time spent walking from place to place.

It says a lot about our main characters that they wind up being chased and/or hated by everyone they come into contact with. They wind up being hunted by at least three groups of people as the film progresses, all of whom show up seemingly at random. These groups are often forgotten about until the script calls for them to pop up for a few minutes. You forget, too, and it makes their reappearances seem to come out of the blue. Sure, the film is about these three guys -- although it's really two of them because Jeff Chang isn't awake for most of his screen time -- but if you want to continue bringing back these secondary characters, at least treat them with a little respect.

I'm sure that all of these actors have talent. Justin Chon turns in the best performance in the film whenever he's awake. Skylar Astin was in "Pitch Perfect" and fared much better there. He delivers every line with great sincerity, but that doesn't work with this type of character. Miles Teller was in "Project X," and plays the same type of role here. He isn't good in either.

"21 and Over" is pretty much the exact type of movie that you expect it to be. If you think "The Hangover" is funny, you'll probably find this movie hilarious as well. It has issues with its characters, dialogue and situations, but if you find it funny you probably won't notice. I didn't like "21 and Over," but if it sounds like your type of thing, you'll probably get some enjoyment out of it.

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