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Film Review: Drinking ‘The Hangover’ Formula, ‘21 and Over’ is a Poor Man’s ‘Animal House’

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CHICAGO – When Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (the writers of “The Hangover” and its sequel) decided to go back in time to college with the same drunk movie formula, their resulting “21 and Over” neglected two major ingredients: being consistently funny and making bold new choices.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Since you’re willingly entering a movie like this to shut down your brain and feast your eyes on human stupidity, that’ll pay off for you in the first 30 minutes. With the remaining short 63 minutes, though, you’ll see that “21 and Over” already blew its load and front-loaded most of its funnies.

After the first third of the film, the rest drags, some of the punch lines flop and dramatic moments that attempt to diversify the film’s humor aren’t emotional. “21 and Over” would have been better served going for pure comedy the whole time – like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” successfully pulled off – and a script rewrite that took chances beyond “The Hangover” formula we’ve already seen twice now.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “21 and Over”.

As for the less-memorable characters in “21 and Over” as compared to “The Hangover,” we have the fast-talking Miller (Miles Teller, “Project X”). Miller gangs up with Casey (Skylar Astin, “Pitch Perfect”) to celebrate Jeff Chang’s (Justin Chon, the “Twilight” series) 21st birthday in true “The Hangover” style – and the night before a major med school exam, of course.

All the while, Casey tries to shag the smiley sorority chick Nicole (Sarah Wright, “The House Bunny”). Casey feels too desperate for her and Nicole feels like she’s just waiting around to be gotten by him. The match is overly scripted, can’t be believed in the real world and doesn’t give the common guy any real hope that he could bag a catch like her.

“21 and Over” stars Miles Teller, Justin Chon, Jonathan Keltz, Skylar Astin, Sarah Wright, Jonathan Keltz, François Chau, Russell Hodgkinson, Daniel Booko, Russell Mercado, Josie Loren, Christiann Castellanos and Dustin Ybarra from writers and director Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The film, which opened on March 1, 2013, is rated “R” for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking. It has a running time of 93 minutes.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “21 and Over” review.

Skylar Astin, Myles Teller, Sarah Wright and Justin Chon in 21 and Over
In the car: Skylar Astin (left), Myles Teller (middle), Sarah Wright and Justin Chon (front) star in “21 and Over”.
Image credit: John Johnson, Twenty One and Over Productions

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “21 and Over” review.

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