Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

There was a time, my friends, as a semi-legitimate film critic for Decode Magazine I would gladly go out to every single critics screening of whatever movie was being shown. I mean how cool is it to be privileged enough to get see most movies before they are released to the public? ‘Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj’ cured me of that. After seeing that bullshit… note that I had stopped cursing before I saw that movie… it now takes a monumental effort to get me out of my house to see a movie. I mean I had to grab my coat, find my keys, burn up some gas and find a place to park all to see that bullshit. This leads us nicely into the third ‘Van Wilder’ flick with ‘Van Wilder: Freshman Year’. Now if the second Van Wilder movie had gone Straight to Video like this Van Wilder movie has then I wouldn’t have been so upset about it and as it turns out this movie was way funnier than that second movie. I mean it still wasn’t all that good and it does pale in comparison to the first movie – which is not a positive, but I didn’t have to drive anywhere to see it and that makes me happy.

Actor Jonathan Bennett and his power eyebrows takes over the role made famous by Ryan Reynolds as he heads to Coolidge College as one fired up freshman. The problem is that Coolidge isn’t the fun party school that it used to be or that we will come to know it as. Dean Wormer… I mean Dean Reardon (Kurt Fuller) has legislated all of the fun out of the school making it a faith based place with an emphasis on military service where kids can get an education minus drugs, alcohol and illicit sex. Asshole. Well Van simply can’t have that now can he? So armed with his new mates, Farley the White Rasta (Nestor Aaron Absera) and Fok (Jerry Shea) the Asian cat who says all kinds of funny Asian style stuff revolving around mispronouncing words with the letter ‘L’ in it, they set about setting Coolidge on fire.

Standing in Van’s way is Dean Reardon’s right hand man and military lap dog Dick (Steve Talley) who not only does all kinds of asshole stuff to Van but is also boyfriend to our girl Kaitlan (Kristin Cavallari) who has caught Van’s eye. You know the girl… not impressed, thinks he should grow up, will be dropping the panties by the third act? Yeah, her. Another thing that was fairly remarkable about actress Kristin Cavallari is that her breasts seemed to get larger as the movie played on. Quite an impressive effect.

You know the routine… boy embarrasses assholes, assholes strike back, misunderstanding leads to girl who was liking boy not to like boy, boy must prove to girl that he is for real which will lead to some kind of end game competition usually dominated by assholes… except this time. Now drop those panties good girl and allow the credits to roll.

So thirty or so years ago there was a little movie called ‘Animal House’ and damn if they haven’t been remaking that movie in some form or fashion ever since. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this version of ‘Animal House’ other than the fact it adds nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing to the lexicon of the raunchy teen comedy. We have tits to look at, some fake sex going on here and there, a whole lot of nonsense, some gross out carefully placed for our perusal, assholes who get theirs and a minority in place who is really funny to laugh at.

I will give a shout out to actress Meredith Giangrande who plays some kind of horny religious zealot, as if there is any other kind of religious zealot in these movies, with us observing that Ms. Giangrande has one of the nicer figures that we’ve seen in a raunchy teen comedy. And considering for the last thirty years raunchy teen comedies have been built on the backs of young women with nice racks who are willing to get naked… that’s saying something. Shout out!

Again there’s nothing really wrong with this iteration of the raunchy teen comedy. Actor Jonathan Bennet and his amazing eyebrows… seriously, my mans eyebrows probably keep him warm at night… made for a more than adequate version of Ryan Reynolds, though Ryan Reynolds does crack me up for whatever reason, and the writers and director had the prerequisite raunchy teen movie checklist by their side and strictly followed through without losing sight of the goal at hand. You won’t miss anything if you choose to skip this, but if you do watch it at least you know what you’re gonna get.

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