21 & Over
I always say that the true test of a young actor is whether they can carry a mediocre movie. In "21 & Over," Miles Teller, of "Footloose" and "Project X" semi-fame, passes with flying colors.
The guys who wrote "The Hangover" direct this film, and they really stretch the limits of plagiarism. Yet again, a group of three friends go out for a night on the town, an evil Asian man follows them around as the villain, disastrous violence and hilarious drinking games ensue, and eventually everyone embraces their inner animal and comes out of the experience as a better person. The only difference is that this time, the kid’s are college-aged. It may as well be an official reboot; "The Next Hangover."
Teller stars as Miller, the party-boy drop-out ruffian, who has come into town to visit his friends Casey and Jeff Chang (they pronounce it as one word,) on the latter’s 21st birthday. Jeff has an 8am job interview the next day, but Teller’s unflappable enthusiasm won’t take no for an answer. And so off they go through escapades equal parts "Hangover" and John Hughes: angering a Latina sorority, beating up the campus’ self-obsessed jock, winning over the girl, and clearing the multiple-story "tower of power" drinking game.
The Blu-ray doesn’t offer many features - a couple of short promotional items, none longer than 4 minutes - and the digitally shot feature doesn’t look particularly striking, either.
It would be passable, but Teller puts on a show. The kid has it, whatever it is. The excitement, the vigor, and the liveliness that very few actors can bring to their roles. It’s so rare that a performer can make it seem like he’s actually coming up with what he’s saying as he’s saying it, but Teller has the flippant delivery - he seems mystified by his own turns of phrase - down pat. Whether he’s a star remains to be seen, but he’s one hell of a personality.
"21 & Over"
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack