"Project X" is "Superbad" on crack.
This tale of three high school losers, who watch their birthday plans go completely out of control, zips past being a cautionary tale of teenage vices to reach the stratosphere of comic absurdity.
Thomas (Thomas Mann) is turning 17. His best friend, the fast-talking Costa (Oliver Cooper), convinces him to turn what is supposed to be a quiet North Pasadena birthday bash into the kind of sex, drugs and videotape event that will make the teens legends. They become legendary when the 1,500-2,000 guests turn the party into an untethered rave where the teens only slow down their consumption of liquor and drugs to get physical. Toss in a maniac with a flamethrower, and this party has a little bit of everything.
The film works because everything goes so far over the top. There's enough drugs and liquor to put a legion of teens in comas. Only attractive young women attend this party and none are shy about disrobing. And all the adults are either mentally unstable or completely clueless. In other words, this is every teen's dream.
Thomas, who in many ways is reminiscent of Cameron from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," is the perfect conduit for the audience. He's loaded with the insecurities that make high school a death march for many while holding on to the last grasps of responsibility as the partygoers trash his parents' home.