‘21 & Over’ never gets the party started

Peyton Callanan

Long before “21 and Over” ever reached theaters, it was being touted as a college version of “The Hangover,” a description that it would never be able to live up to.

It’s not hard to compare the two movies, along with several other similar movies, because “21 and Over” doesn’t do anything special to set itself apart.

Though “21 and Over” was written by the same team as “The Hangover,” there was no way the writers could outdo the movie that made Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis household names.

It became the highest grossing “R” rated comedy ever—that is until a little movie about a talking bear that sounded like Peter Griffin came along.

The movie stars Miles Teller (“Project X”), Skylar Astin (“Pitch Perfect”) and Justin Chon (“Twilight”) as a group of old friends celebrating one’s 21st birthday until things get out of hand.

It is easy to see how the “The Hangover” influenced this movie, with many scenes that feel like they would fit seamlessly into the director’s cut of the predecessor.

Many other scenes seem to be borrowed straight from other comedies with the same theme of longtime friends out for a night of drunken debauchery, like that of “Animal House,” “Old School” and “Superbad.”

The final critique is that “21 and Over” feels mostly like “Superbad.” In fact, if you just changed the names in the script to Evan, Seth and McLovin it would make a logical sequel to the original storyline. However, “21 and Over” just feels like warmed-up leftovers and is ultimately missing the over-the-top craziness and endlessly quotable lines of all the movies it’s imitating.

Teller’s great comedic timing carries most of the movie, but his acting can only take the mediocre script so far. His character Miller gets in several good lines, but none of them are particularly memorable after leaving the theater.

Overall the movie is far from painful to watch, the actors are fun and attractive, the music is good, the party scenes will instantly make every party you have been to seem boring, but it will never overcome the expectations that its creators put on it.