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, Matthew Broderick, Jean Smart, William Sadler, Jonathan Stark
  • Director: Jonathan Kaplan
  • Screen Writer: Stanley Weiser, Lawrence Lasker
  • Writer (Story): Stanley Weiser
  • Producer: Walter F Parkes, Lawrence Lasker
  • 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

    Baggage Claim

    Paula Patton stars in writer-director David E Talbert's romcom about a woman's desperate hunt to find herself a husband.

  • Film4

    Metallica: Through The Never

    Director Nimród Antal and cinematographer Gyula Pados blend fact and fiction as they capture an obscure live Metallica concert in North America.

    On Film4: 30 Apr 11:10PM

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 Picks

    Film4.com site editor and festival newbie Michael Leader selects ten films from the Official Selection at this year's Cannes Film Festival that he can't wait to see... Go easy on me, I'm new around t

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Cannes 2016: 10 picks

    Catherine Bray runs her eye over this year¿s line-up and selects ten films she can¿t wait to watch at the 69th Cannes Film Festival The official line-up is now locked and loaded, so time to have a ru

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share