Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, don’t stray too far from their cinematic bread ‘n’ butter.
By Albert Angulo
It’s hard to imagine anybody who’s 21 and over, truly getting much out of 21 and over, but so far as these types of films go, one isn’t as aggressively stupid as some. It’s written and directed by, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who also wrote the, The Hangover, and I actually prefer it to that so often, insufferable comedy. Although, The Hangover is considered by many to be the 21st-century equivalent of, Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Some Like It Hot, all rolled into one.
Of course, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, don’t stray too far from their cinematic bread ‘n’ butter. As in, The Hangover, the movie opens with a story-already-in-progress scene, that quickly jumps into flashback mode to show how the current ensnaring mess, from which the protagonists initially evolved. The plot also involves copious amounts of alcohol, resultant blackouts, characters in extremely compromising positions, an important engagement that might get missed and, the biggest tell tale sign of all, a naked Asian man who is as uninhibited as, Ron Jeremy, specifically when it comes to jiggling his buttocks and wiggling his willy. There’s no Mike Tyson on hand though, so at least the film has that going for it.
Despite the similarities to, The Hangover, 21 & Over actually jostles even more in the direction of the sturdy Harold & Kumar franchise, a comparison that’s even more pronounced, given the comparable ages of these characters. Yet where the writers of the H&K films, managed to employ ethnic stereotypes to puncture hypocrisy and prejudice’s, John Lucas and Scott Moore, aren’t nearly as sharp when attempting to do likewise. The gags involving Jeff Chang aren’t particularly funny or challenging, the inclusion of a sorority full of angry Latinas, is a major miscalculation, and the writers don’t even attempt to address African-Americans. Not only are there no significant or supporting African-Americans characters, I’d be hard-pressed to recall if any actors of this culture were even employed as background extras for any scenes.
Yet the movie does get some things right. The casting of Teller and Astin, both appealing performers, is crucial. Their ability to carve out specific characters, ultimately provides some resonance to the more sentimental and introspective moments that appeared near the end, this in turn, prevented the picture from exploding like a grenade in its own face, which often happens when this type of film develops an insincere conscience right before the fade-out.
The budding romance between Casey and a sorority girl named Nicole, played by, Sarah Wright, is unexpectedly sweet, and the thorny relationship between Jeff Chang and his father is ably handled. As for the scene involving some serious smooching between two of the male characters, while some might see it as an extension of this genre’s penchant for “homosexual panic” humor, I’m willing to give the film-makers the benefit of the doubt, and view it as an affront to homophobic louts, who hypocritically see nothing wrong with lesbianism, but want to smash skulls when the mere suggestion of even the most innocent guy-on-guy action is brought up. Knowing that this scene will upset frat boys is enough to justify its existence, if you ask me.
21 & Over Trailer #2 (2013) – Skylar Astin Movie HD