Francesca Rudkin

Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie Review: College comedy misses the mark

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Skylar Astin, Justin Chon and Milles Teller in 21 and Over. Photo / Supplied
Skylar Astin, Justin Chon and Milles Teller in 21 and Over. Photo / Supplied

The premise of 21 and Over is pretty simple. Two friends head to Stanford University to surprise their old school buddy on his 21st birthday with a night on the town.

The jeopardy is created by the birthday boy needing to be home in time the next morning for the most important appointment of his life, his medical school interview.

At first Jeff Chang (Chon) is reluctant to head out with his visiting buddies Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin), but he gets into the swing of things, downing shots, which he later throws up on a mechanical bull - in slow motion.

It's not long before Chang passes out, and 21 and Over becomes The Hangover meets i, with Chang dragged unconscious around campus as Miller and Casey try to work out where he lives. Everything you expect from American college life gets a look-in - sororities, frat parties, beer pong, pep rallies, a rampaging buffalo (okay, so maybe that's not expected), combined with an excess of swearing, Screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have stuck with the formula that worked so well with their screenplay for i.

This time round they have for the first time also stepped into the directors' chairs, and the result is a fast-paced, crude, occasionally funny college version of i

What's missing is the endearing characters of the grown-up version - this lot are not an intolerable bunch of boys, but it's hard to get fussed about how this 24-hour bender works out for them.


21 and Over

Stars: 2 1/2/5
Cast: Miles Teller, Justin Chon, Skylar Astin Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Running time: 93 mins
Rating: R16 (violence, sexual references and offensive language)
Verdict: A crude, chaotic, mildly amusing mess

- NZ Herald

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