Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There was a scene late in the film (which is what we will loosely call this) ‘Van Wilder 2 – The Rise of Taj’ in which the extremely erudite sophisticate of British Royalty, Pip Everett, Played by actor Daniel Percival doing his best Hugh Grant impersonation engages in a final, climactic fencing duel with our hero Taj Majal Baladaladad as portrayed by actor Kal Penn.  Pip is royally pissed at Taj’s hijinx and grabs a pair of authentic swords as opposed to the traditional fencing epees and declares to the young man of Eastern Indian descent, ‘We are going to settle this like our ancestors would have!’  Taj looks at Pip with a confused look and quips ‘you’re going to exploit me economically?’  There you go.  That was the one funny thing in ‘Van Wilder 2’, that line right there.  Now you don’t have to go see it, go rent it, illegally download it or nuttin’!  Right there.  That was is it.  Though that one line does make it funnier than ‘Date Movie’ which looks like it’s going to end 2006 as the worst movie of the year, but ‘Van Wilder 2 – The Rise of Taj will probably make an appearance in the top ten.

Quite honestly, I don’t how much longer I can do this.  I used to think it was kind of cool going to all of these free movie screenings and receiving DVD screeners of flicks coming on DVD and what not.  I love movies and I love talking and writing about them and I know not everything is going to be ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Blazing Saddles’.  But my God it’s been a bad week.  Forced to suffer though ‘Turistas’ and ‘Van Wilder’ at the theater and then I had to suffer through what has to be Steven Seagals worst movie ever (I know!) ‘Attack Force’, the worst Vietnam War movie ever in ‘The Veteran’ and the awful, awful horror flick ‘Pumpkin Karver’ on DVD.  A really bad week only made worse by ‘Van Wilder’.

Brief Description.  Since Ryan Reynolds is off making his own bad movies, he couldn’t show up this one, even in cameo.  One lone character from the original film, which really didn’t rate a sequel, Taj Majal shows up as a PhD candidate Teaching Assistant at an Oxford-esque university in England.  He meets stuck up people at some stuck up fraternity they won’t let him in, and send him to a house where losers hang out.  He energizes and invigorates the losers who compete for some competition that the stuck up house always wins.  Pip, leader of stuck up house, has a girlfriend who Taj steals.  Something bad happens, there is a misunderstanding, misunderstanding is corrected, bad guy is disgraced, good guy gets the girl and losers of the world rejoice in glee.

You know what was interesting about this movie?  I’m in a half filled theater as this screening was sponsored by a local radio station that gave out free passes.  A couple of critics and a bunch young impressionalbles were in attendance here.  At various times during the films punch lines about 8 people scattered throughout the theater would heartily laugh, even though the stuff happening wasn’t funny, and this continued for about the first half hour of the movie.  I’m CONVINCED that these were studio plants who were hired to laugh out loud and hopefully prompt the rest of the audience to laugh along with them.  After a half hour, even those guys stopped laughing.

I mean they tried, but the gags weren’t funny, the delivery was lame and uninspired, they tried to be bawdy but instead in came off as stupid.  I don’t want to drop all the blame of Kal Penn, but he was the star, and he was pretty much in every scene in the movie and he did executive produce this dreck, so we may as well blame him.  But in all honesty, you could have had Richard Pryor, Dave Chappell, Jerry Seinfeld, Lenny Bruce and Freddy Prinze Sr. in this disaster and it still wouldn’t have been any good.

But my number one issue with ‘Van Wilder 2’ is why in the hell did they release this to theaters?  Crap sequels of generally unseen theatrical films go on DVD.  That’s the rule.  ‘Hollow Man 2’, The Butterfly Effect 2’, ‘Doctor Doolittle 3’ all were released on DVD because they were crap , had nobody famous in them and they were crap.  Based on that criteria, Van Wilder 2 is DVD ready already!  Sure, Seagal’s ‘Attack Force’ was god-awful, but I got to watch it ‘at home’.  I could pour myself a drink, lie in bed and surf the net on my laptop, pause the movie and bitch, then fire it up again.  For ‘Van Wilder 2’ I had to find my keys, put on a coat, walk in the rain, find a parking spot, and pay for said parking all for a movie that should have never been released to theaters in the first place.

Folks, when this does come out on video, like, next week… punish them by not getting it, or renting it or nuttin’!  Yeah, this would still suck at home on DVD but the fridge is just around the corner, and the Genuine Draft is cold.  Send a message people.  We aren’t going to take this anymore!

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