Excerpt: If you've seen "21 & Over" and have never thought to ask yourself - "where have I seen all this before?" then you're doing it all wrong. Either that or you've been oblivious to the recent post-" The Hangover " (2009) series of movies that deal with the one-night crazy party/aftermath genre. That's right this has become a comedic sub-genre of its own.
Excerpt: Where to begin? The teddy bear glued to Chang’s (Justin Chong) penis? Ooh, maybe the intimidation ceremony that sees high school buddies branded and walking nude on campus with socks covering their privates? After all, we’re in the world of John Lucas and Scott Moore, the two writers who drafted The Hangover , recreating their unbridled success narrative with college goers. It is often drunk, offensive, and reaching, elements which fizzle as opposed to entertain.
Conclusion: 21 & Over is The Hangover for a younger crowd, but it just doesn't pack in as many laughs. Drunk dude-bro humor can only take the movie so far; what it lacks is the element of surprise that made The Hangover such an unexpected hit. You know exactly where 21 & Over is going at all times.
Conclusion: '21 & Over' was sold primarily on what goodwill audiences still had for 'The Hangover,' and not much else. While the film manages to scrounge up some decent laughs, it struggles to keep its storyline going and because of that winds up resorting to a heavy use of clichés and inadvertently reminding viewers of better films.
Summary: I’m not the right audience for this film, but then again neither are some 16,000 readers at the Internet Movie Database who gave it a cumulative rating of 5.7 out of 10. I think a few 21 & Unders might have pushed it up a few points.
Excerpt: Tom Hanks had Bachelor Party . Matt Damon had Stuck On You . Poor Matthew McConaughey got stuck with EdTV . Nearly every leading man must endure his own dumb, immature comedy on his road toward stardom, usually proving himself to be the best thing in those movies as reason not to write him off completely.
Excerpt: For all its raunchiness, The Hangover was distinguished as much by its unexpectedly elegant plotting as its cast’s chemistry and its famous setpieces. It was like an out-of-control frathouse that happened to reside in the loveliest building on campus. The Hangover ’s myriad knock-offs retained its scatological enthusiasm while abandoning its underlying precision in favor of manic, random wackiness.
Summary: The writers of The Hangover re-team here, adding a debut directorial credit to their screenwriting resumes. But where The Hangover impressed with its anarchic, off-colour humour and the comedic chops and chemistry of its cast, 21 and Over proves light on laughs and likeable leads as well as missing what's so good about the college comedies it at times clearly wants to emulate.