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Movie review: '21 and Over' is 'Hangover' leftovers

Published March 2, 2013 5:47 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The campus comedy "21 & Over" is "The Hangover," junior-varsity edition. Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore wrote "The Hangover," and they seem happy to copy that movie's formula of drunken excess and reality-stretching exploits until they're old men.

Party-hearty Miller (Miles Teller, from "Project X") meets up with his straitlaced high-school buddy Casey (Skylar Astin, from "Pitch Perfect") at Northern Pacific University (the movie was filmed at the University of Washington) to celebrate the 21st birthday of their pal Jeff Chang (Justin Chon, from the "Twilight" series). But Jeff Chang (he's always referred to by both names) has an important medical-school interview in the morning, and his imperious father (Francois Chau) won't let him miss it. Miller and Casey take Jeff Chang out drinking anyway, and their quest to get him home sparks a series of sometimes funny but largely repetitive misadventures.

The movie bogs down when Lucas and Moore try to inject some serious bonding between Miller and Casey, and romance with Casey and a spunky sorority sister (Sarah Wright). The upside here is the free-wheeling performance by Teller, who has Bill Murray's swagger and Tom Hanks' leading-man charm.

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'21 and Over'

Opens Friday, March 1, at theaters everywhere; rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking; 95 minutes.