‘Extreme’ acting challenges enliven gross-out comedy
Ballet Philippines’ ‘Blue Moon Series,’ Tanghalang Pilipino’s ‘Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente’ lead Philstage Gawad Buhay!’s 2014 3rd-quarter citations
When “The Hangover” became a gross-out hit, it spawned not just a sequel, but imitators that similarly sought to score big at the box office with even racier dialogue, situations and visuals.
The latest such clone, “21 and Over,” is clearly targeted at a younger viewership, mostly randy teenagers and college students. That’s why its action is set on-campus before students head for the collective craziness that is Spring Break.
They get high on all sorts of libations and ingestions, resulting in a demented scenario that includes the “invasion” of a sorority house, the punishment of the audacious “invaders,” who are stripped naked by their vengeful victims—etc.!
Just like the original production, this flick also features a huge and fearsome animal (this time, a bison on the warpath) and an Asian character who romps around with only a wee teddy bear covering his privates.
The randy youths are zonked out most of the time, so they definitely don’t feel responsible for their actions—if they can remember them at all! They also curse like truck drivers, so the movie’s soundtrack is as scurrilous as its visuals are gross.
—And yet, after a while, the patient viewer may find some aspects to this movie that are more than just shockeroos for shock value’s sake. In particular, the Asian college student turns out to have a huge personal and “cultural” problem that drives him to drink, deep depression—and attempted suicide.
As for the other two male leads, they are friends but exact opposites in their view on life, so they keep fighting and feuding even as they loyally help their Asian buddy get to an important meeting with his father. In the process, they exemplify and vivify the different, sometimes contradictory aspects of “bromanly” friendship.
—So, this movie is more than just the screaming sum of its shocking parts!
Among other things, it shows how far some actors will go to depict the over-the-top characters assigned to them. For instance, the Asian-American actor bares his butt so often that we’re a bit thrown off when we see him wearing clothes!
But, the most “extreme” acting challenge in the film comes when the two feuding friends are punished by the vengeful sorority sisters, who strip them totally naked, except for an athletic sock apiece.
Worse, they are required to walk across the campus buck-naked, before anybody belatedly thinks of giving them some clothes to cover their blushing buns. —Not many actors would agree to do an extended scene of daring and baring like that!
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