Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 1987
  • 108 mins

Project X

Project X

Synopsis

A young army intern becomes attached to the chimps being used in a top secret military project. Kids adventure movie starring Matthew Broderick and Helen Hunt

About

He's now famous for being married to Sarah-Jessica Parker and for taking Broadway by storm in 'The Producers'. But there was a time when Matthew Broderick was best known for playing cocky teenagers - this in spite of the fact that he didn't even make his movie debut until he'd turned 21. Already something a stage veteran (he first worked on the New York stage aged 17) by the time he came to Hollywood, it was Broderick's good fortune that his boyishness allowed him to play well beneath his years. So while he was 22 when he threatened global security in War Games and 24 when he starred in John Hughes's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Broderick had notched up his quarter century when he was cast in Project X

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan the year before he made the rather more controversial The Accused, Project X is the story of Jimmy Garrett (Broderick), a military inductee who's placed in charge of the chimps who're being used in the titular experiment. Naturally, Garrett grows close to his simian chums and it's not long before he and his young friend Teri (Hunt, still some years away from becoming a bona fide star) are hatching a plan to allow the apes to escape.

A film that harks back to the age when teen entertainment meant little violent action and even less swearing, Project X is as likeable as it is insubstantial. Indeed, it rather resembles the BBC kids' dramas that used to play between five o'clock and 'The Clangers'.

With a script by producer Lawrence Lasker, who'd previously written War Games, this pleasing picture features a strong bad guy in The Shawshank Redemption's William Sadler and a decent sidekick in the young Helen Hunt. However, Project X ultimately belongs to Matthew Broderick, since not only is he very good in the film, but the picture also marks the last time he'd play significantly below his real age. As such, Project X is a fitting swansong for an actor who was prepared to play to his strengths long after the time when most young performers would have been desperate to play meatier roles.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Helen Hunt, William Sadler, Jean Smart, Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Stark
  • Director: Jonathan Kaplan
  • Screen Writer: Lawrence Lasker, Stanley Weiser
  • Writer (Story): Stanley Weiser
  • Producer: Lawrence Lasker, Walter F Parkes
  • Photographer: Dean Cundey
  • Composer: James Horner

In a nutshell

A likeable adventure movie with winning work from its young-ish leading man.

by Richard Luck

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

    Lily Collins stars in Harald Zwart's fantasy action-adventure, based on the first novel in Cassandra Clare's bestselling series for young adults.

  • Film4

    The Rise

    Luke Treadaway, Neil Maskell and Timothy Spall star in this Leeds-set heist caper, the debut feature from writer-director Rowan Athale.

  • Film4

    This Is 40 on Film4

    (2012) 124 mins 15 Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in writer-director-producer Judd Apatow's relationship comedy-drama, a 'sort of sequel' to his second hit feature, Knocked Up.

  • Film4

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on Film4

    The first installment from Cassandra Clare's bestselling YA franchise starring Lily Collins.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Channel 4 announces major increase to Film4 funding

    Film4 funding has increased to a record £25m in 2016, with major new deals announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films. Film4 will be backing new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew H

  • Channel 4 Blog

    The 36th London Film Critics Circle Awards

    The Film4-backed 45 Years takes Best Actor, Best Actress and Best British Film at the 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards Other prizes for Film4-backed films included Breakthrough Filmmaker for d

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share