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Overall Rating
1.34

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 6.9%
Pretty Bad: 20.69%
Total Crap72.41%

4 reviews, 5 user ratings


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National Lampoon's Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj
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by Doug Bentin

"Taj Mahowl"
2 stars

There was a time within living memory when the words “National Lampoon’s” meant something in the title of a movie. Something good, I mean. Now, for almost 20 years they’ve meant “This movie should be direct-to-video.” If everyone who pays full price to see this newest sacrilege of a once proud name in comedy would band together, they could get one hell of a class action lawsuit going.

Mercifully, I dodged the “Van Wilder” bullet in 2003, but apparently my cinema karma sucks even more than I thought it did—I guess I shouldn’t have written anything good about “The Omen” last July, huh—and I’m paying for it now. Kal Penn returns as Taj, who has moved to England to attend grad school at one of those snooty universities that produce nothing but educated twits who look down their noses at the hoi polloi. You know the kind of snobs I mean. Peter Cushing tormented Laurel and Hardy in “A Chump at Oxford” and he grew up to destroy Alderran.

For some reason, sight unseen, Taj has been assigned as dorm master to three dorks and one dorkette and he immediately decides to turn them into the cool kids on campus. Which he does. Immediately.

David Drew Gallagher wrote the screenplay and it’s terrible. Here’s how he did it. He made a list of the scenes a movie like this one should contain, then he composed the scenes without doing much thinking about how they should be connected. For instance, the house that Taj heads up is called The Barn. He shows up one day, gives his charges a pep talk and everyone goes to bed. When the dorks wake up the next morning—one of them is sleeping on the floor of the upstairs hall for absolutely no reason—they hear odd noises coming from the living room. They scamper down the stairs to find Taj playing a “Miss Nude America” pinball machine.

Where did he get it in England in the middle of the night? How was it delivered without waking anyone up? Why would he do such a stupid thing in the first place, other than Gallagher thinking that a pinball machine that moaned suggestively was funny. No one but Taj ever touches the creepy thing.

Of course, the main snob’s girlfriend falls for Taj, which is barely acceptable as Penn gives the guy some degree of charm, and the film becomes a sub-standard slobs vs. snobs farce. Likeable as Taj may be, Penn is no Bill Murray. He’s not even Chevy Chase, and as long as we have those fellas’ early movies, we sure don’t need this one.

The NatLamp seal used to guarantee a degree of cutting edge comedy—back in the days when the term “cutting edge” meant something, too—but it’s past time for some other dead humor magazine to put its name on these lame comedies.

When I first saw the trailer for this thing, it contained one funny line and I wondered if I was in for a surprise after having been burned so often by the stupidity of these assembly line, half-assed, would-be yuck fests. So now I’ve seen the movie and guess what. Right. Like the trailer, the entire movie contains one funny line.

Okay, here’s the joke. The Head Snob challenges Taj by waving a pair of swords over his head and bellowing that he and his colonial inferior will settle their differences in the way of their ancestors, and Taj snaps back, “You want to exploit me economically?” Well, I thought it was funny.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15288&reviewer=405
originally posted: 12/19/06 05:55:56
[printer] printer-friendly format  
For more in the National Lampoon Movies series, click here.

User Comments

1/02/07 cody Not as good as part 1 but still had lot gags and laughs hounddogs !!! 3 stars
12/04/06 Bob Just watched this. Not that funny. Only laughed a few times. 3 stars
12/03/06 Anthony G Did not laugh once,worst movie i've seen in about 3 years. 1 stars
12/03/06 Prichett Yet another heaping dose of putrid fratboy shit-for-brains garbage. 1 stars
12/01/06 James Black CSE They should stuff the DVD up the directors ass then make him fart on it. Below shit level 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
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[trailer] Trailer


Directed by
  Mort Nathan

Written by
  David Drew Gallagher

Cast
  Kal Penn
  Glen Barry
  Lauren Cohan
  Anthony Cozens
  Tom Davey
  Holly Davidson



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