“21 & Over” feels like a reincarnation of last year’s equally asinine “Project X,” a movie that, like this one, was loaded with revolting characters and implausible scenarios that revolve around a night of severe partying. The plot is painfully simple: Accompanied by longtime best friends Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller), supposed brainiac Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) ignores his strict father’s commands not to go out on the night before his big med-school interview. Naturally, the three get sloshed, particularly Jeff, who is comatose as Casey and Miller race to get him home in time for his dad’s arrival the next morning.
Written and directed by the same guys who penned “The Hangover” (surprise, surprise), every note you would expect to hear in this movie resounds loudly. Casey is the studious, responsible type, while Miller is the miscreant who’s brimming with racist jokes and loathsome choices. As the night rages on, the two descend upon one ludicrous episode after the next in an effort to find Jeff’s address — why they don’t already know it is puzzling, to say the least — in order to make their deadline.
Along the way, we’re forced to endure the sight of slow-motion vomiting, Jeff eating a tampon and the characters finding the inevitable opportunity to fight, call the friendship quits and then — yawn — realize how foolish they’ve been. “21 & Over” is the standard version of the hyperbolic college-party movie, except without the wit of “Old School” or the lovability of “Animal House.” Thank goodness for Astin’s charm — without it, this shindig would be totally lifeless. (2 out of 5 Globes)