Film review: 21 and Over (15)


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The Independent Culture

It's The Hangover with L-plates, possibly a lenient way of describing this campus comedy in which a night on the town for three college students spirals into hair-raising debauchery.

On the eve of his crucial med-school interview, straight-A student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is persuaded by his visiting pals (Miles Teller and Skylar Astin) to have a quick beer before bedtime.

Cue a shaggy-dog story of leapfrogging misadventures that include runaway bulls, Tampon-scoffing, brawling with jocks, spanking sorority girls and an enforced ritual make-out that seems modelled on Eyes Wide Shut. You can probably imagine the rest.

The writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore pile on the taboo sex-and-race jokes with glee, yet however close to the wind it sails the script never approaches the charm, the oddity or the freshness of their Hangover original.

There's no equivalent of the Caesar's Palace gag, let alone the tiger in the bathroom. And while the three errant amigos are competent performers, they haven't one tenth of the likeability of Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis.