“21 and Over”

Susan Granger’s review of “21 and Over” (Relativity Media)


When diminutive Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) reaches the legal drinking age of 21, his two closest high-school buddies, Miller (Miles Teller), an obnoxious loser, and uptight, Wall Street-bound Casey (Skylar Astin) arrive at Northern Pacific University as a surprise to help him celebrate.  A perennial straight-A student, Jeff Chang (he’s always referred to by his first-and-last name) knows that his dictatorial father (Francois Chau) has arranged an all-important interview for medical school early the next morning, but he agrees to go out for one beer, flashing his ID at skeptical bartenders and bouncers.

Problem is: things quickly get out of hand and Jeff Chang passes out, after projectile vomiting in slow-motion while riding a mechanical bull, leaving gung-ho Miller and Casey to tote him around the college campus, searching for people who know him and can remind them where he lives so they can deposit him into his bed.  There’s a runaway bull, two Serbian thugs, an excursion into a Latina sorority house for some ritualistic initiation hijinks and, somehow, a teddy bear gets firmly duct-taped to a private part of Jeff Chang’s anatomy and must be – painfully – pulled off.

If elements of this crude, misogynistic, bacchanal comedy look familiar, it’s because writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore previous collaborated on the screenplay for Todd Phillips’ “The Hangover.” Consider their directorial debut as a formulaic junior version of that concept, chock full of insulting racist
and blatantly sexist one-liners that fall flat amid the gross-out debauchery. The contemporary music, like “Tonight is the Night” by Outasight and “Young Blood” by The Naked and Famous, seem appropriate.

Devoted “Twilight” fans may recognize Justin Chon, who played Bella Swan’s high-school classmate Eric Yorkie, but his role here is far too stereotypical.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “21 and Over” is a tame but tawdry 3, a raunchy re-tred.