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Overall Rating
3.16

Awesome38.32%
Worth A Look: 5.61%
Average: 18.69%
Pretty Bad: 8.41%
Total Crap: 28.97%

4 reviews, 83 user ratings


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National Lampoon's Van Wilder
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by EricDSnider

"Moviemakers, why do you hate us?"
1 stars

"National Lampoon's Van Wilder" belongs to the genre of movies in which someone ingests something not meant to be ingested, usually a bodily fluid of some kind. (In this case, I will tell you only that it came from a dog.)

It is also the kind of movie in which the bad guy winds up with severe gastro-intestinal problems and has to relieve himself in an office wastebasket -- an idea that I find funny on paper, and even when reflecting upon it, but not when I was forced to watch it happen on the silver screen in brilliant color and Dolby sound.

The attachment of "National Lampoon's" to the title suggests this might be a parody of some kind, as was the case with the last several movies with that moniker. But "Van Wilder" is not exaggerated enough to be a parody of gross-out flicks, college flicks, or even flicks in general. It merely indulges in the worst elements of all of them. Just as "Not Another Teen Movie" was so clueless in its parodies that it became just another teen movie, "Van Wilder" is just a pale, crude imitation of movies like "Animal House" (the first "National Lampoon" movie, and one of the few not to do the name a disservice).

Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) has been at Coolidge College for seven years and has no intention of graduating. He likes it there, and he is the biggest of the big men on campus, giving advice to freshmen, pumping up the basketball team, helping sick students and only very, very occasionally going to class. His father (Tim Matheson) finally cuts him off, leaving Van to figure out his own way to raise enough money to stay in school.

Meanwhile, an ambitious journalism student named Gwen (Tara Reid) has been assigned to do a profile on the enigmatic Van Wilder, much to the dismay of her uptight pre-med boyfriend Richard (Daniel Cosgrove). Somewhere between Gwen and Richard's seriousness and Van's carefree attitude there is probably a happy medium, but darned if the movie is going to try very hard to find it.

Ryan Reynolds, who starred in TV's "Two Guys and a Girl," which I never saw, would appear to have talent. He's definitely charismatic, and if he can stop delivering every line like he thinks he's Jim Carrey, not to mention get some better material, he could be good. Tara Reid, meanwhile, gets another "couldn't be less believable as ..." notch on her belt, this time for her role as a hard-nosed investigative journalist, which she couldn't be less believable as.

Van appears naked in this movie three different times, at least one of which is for absolutely no reason other than to be random. The movie specializes in that kind of non-sequitur, but rarely does it succeed in creating laughs. The hearing-impaired basketball coach saying, "I have never been glad I was deaf until now, so I can't hear them booing!" made me laugh, because physical handicaps are among the few remaining taboos in comedy. But I thought better of it later: "Van Wilder" wasn't being brave; it was being puerilely scattershot, throwing as many jokes at the wall as it could and hoping a few might stick. "There's Something About Mary" played handicaps for laughs respectably; this movie's too dumb to even recognize the taboo was there.

Witness the rest of the depravity, aimed at shocking an audience that, for heaven's sake, really can't be shocked anymore. We've seen every part of the human body, internal and external, be used for everything it can possibly be used for. All the bodily functions have been exploited, all the sexual vulgarisms have been uttered. Old people have had sex with young people. Foreigners have been used as comic foils.

The more I think of it, the more this movie just seems like a retread of "American Pie," "There's Something About Mary" and "Dumb and Dumber." It brings out the occasional chuckle amidst a sea of disgust and boredom, but it is not worth wading through that sea to find those few laughs.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5799&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/06/02 08:25:35
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User Comments

12/05/17 morris campbell a tscky snooze 1 stars
1/01/14 Rick Tara Reid is soooo hot!!! 5 stars
2/05/13 matthew thompson dalldorf Yawn! Watch 'Animal House' instead. 2 stars
7/10/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess No frat-related comedy is going to beat 'Animal House' 3 stars
7/14/08 Dave Epic awesomness 5 stars
3/29/08 Ha NL sucks ass. Only an idiot would like their crap these days. 1 stars
4/01/06 matt Hilarious underrated gem 5 stars
1/18/06 cody I like movie it one my favorites comedies ever! tara reid go go baby go! 4 stars
8/30/05 ES Critics why? Such an entertaining movie, so many hijinks and fun to be had 5 stars
4/04/05 ye the funny film people hardly ever talk about 5 stars
1/09/05 Feliciano ryan reynolds is hilarious!!! 5 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul WOW, this review is scathing. Very funny, and gross. They weren't trying to be Spielburg. 5 stars
11/14/04 BornWilder I think Van Wilder is one of the best 'teen - movies' of our generation. 5 stars
11/06/04 Me The "Exploding scene" was hilarious! 5 stars
9/09/04 J Sickening and funnier than Old School 5 stars
6/07/04 Moriah This movie is the best comedy ever. . . EVER!!! seriously go see it! so funny!! 5 stars
4/09/04 Alex Hilarious - Reynolds is a star 5 stars
3/21/04 Kayla NICE NICE NICE NICE MOVIE!!! very funny and Ryan Reynolds is so damn hott..Omg watch it!!!! 5 stars
1/02/04 Bebe Funny!! 5 stars
9/02/03 Dawn Would rather suffer through one of the stupid stunt in this film than watched it again. 1 stars
9/01/03 k Kal Penn is awesome 5 stars
9/01/03 hando garbage of the 1st order,the "cream" eating scene being the only saving grace! 1 stars
8/14/03 Chuck Great movie about what college could have been 5 stars
6/26/03 cochese Animal House its not. 2 stars
5/26/03 Dan_A It was bad. A few decent laughs. But nothing I haven't seen before 2 stars
4/18/03 Jack Sommersby Pretty decent until it tries to be so. 2 stars
4/01/03 Jenna Furr Too bad: since the Am. Pie flix, Tara Reid's become wholly convinced her shit don't stink. 2 stars
3/20/03 bam great 5 stars
3/15/03 The spam handler I'll never eat Twinkies again, but the rest of it was ok 3 stars
2/17/03 Joe Why Do They Insist On Beating A Dead Horse With More And More bad Sequels 1 stars
2/09/03 abc critics might hate it, but come on, it's fun ! 5 stars
12/31/02 Hawlie Perry This Movie fucking rocks! Van is S0 hawt and funny! *I Want to air dry,Air dry that shit ya 5 stars
11/21/02 DAvid THOMPSON Fucking awesome flic van wilder funny man of the centurary 5 stars
10/27/02 Matt Neopalitano The "garbage can toilet" scene was a classic. It's only missing Rodney Dangerfield. 4 stars
10/21/02 Importfighta great, funny and halarious "it's not a bong it's for my slong" ha ha ha 5 stars
10/15/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid were great. Some bits are funny. 3 stars
10/12/02 Petee Ryan Reynolds was fantastic. Nice ass! 5 stars
10/07/02 Incubassist Thouroughly charming, some substance, Reynolds should go far 3 stars
10/03/02 Shane Obviously my comment wont make a difference, you can see my rating 5 stars
10/02/02 Richard Wright The cycle of gross out comedies reaches a new low with this abysmal piece of excrement. 1 stars
9/23/02 KMG WHY DOES REYNOLDS HAVE SUCH A FAGGY VOICE? MOVIE SUCKED TOO 1 stars
9/21/02 Vitality1 Reid sucks, but Ryan Reynolds is all charm and hotness. Good movie! 5 stars
8/28/02 Hessian Animal House? No. But it's a damned sight better than the Vacation offerings. 3 stars
8/27/02 snowconehead could of been worse 3 stars
8/25/02 .Choadushouse. Lacks at the start...slowly grows funnier. Lots of hot naked girls. Good for dumb teenagers 3 stars
8/24/02 spyguy2 bad Bad BAD...God this SUCKED. Tara Reid in another glassy-eyed walk-thru. 1 stars
8/22/02 k Tara Reid cant act ..at all...and the movie sucks too 2 stars
8/21/02 bob leather jacket hilarious...nostalgic feel to it 5 stars
6/05/02 Veronica Tatterworth Alas Terror Reid is becoming the new queen of anal-retentiveness! (She once showed promise) 1 stars
5/30/02 Jenny Tullwartz National Shampoon not Lampoon anymore. Makes SORORITY BOYS look like classic comedy. 1 stars
5/01/02 Jennifer Loved it 5 stars
4/30/02 Christine Mead It's the GREATEST movie ever!!! I have seen it 3 times! 5 stars
4/30/02 Chris Bennett Erik the movieman is a cock! 5 stars
4/26/02 Maryann Degala IM GAY 5 stars
4/25/02 Casey BEST MOVIE EVER! I PRAISE VAN WIDLER'S GLORY 5 stars
4/24/02 becky it was so funny, ryan was really HOT in that movie, and these critics hate it bc it wasn 5 stars
4/23/02 Alissa Thats some funny shit! 5 stars
4/19/02 new york times reviews incredible movie it had my chest acing from all that laughing 5 stars
4/18/02 Mel OH man it was a great movie and Ryan Reynolds was fine in it! I want to see it again! 5 stars
4/16/02 Nelia It was really fun and a good movie to watch 5 stars
4/16/02 Nikki This was one of the best movies I have ever seen! It's funny and has the hottest actor! 5 stars
4/15/02 Dom Corleone Not that great 2 stars
4/14/02 Patrick This was a hilarious flick. It is a shame most lame reviewers live a sorry life. 5 stars
4/09/02 caroline pike loved it, ryan is hot! 4 stars
4/09/02 vampyre9mm were you all expecting Gone with the Wind? made me laugh, that's all that counts 4 stars
4/08/02 Nick2k definately better than 'pearl harbor' 3 stars
4/08/02 hey just terrible, the jokes were retarded 1 stars
4/07/02 steve will not see it ever!can you guess what will be spuffed on scarymovie 4 1 stars
4/06/02 Hatemonger It might have been funny of Ryan Renolds wasn't so obviously a closet homosexual. 1 stars
4/05/02 Klute Lazy, unfunny, wouldn't have made good TV. 2 stars
4/04/02 Lee Pietersen This movie sucks cock 5 stars
4/03/02 Monty Hilarious. Soundtrack rocks. 5 stars
4/03/02 High Horse There's a BOMB in my rib cage! 1 stars
4/01/02 Tom Get off your high horses, it's just a comedy. 4 stars
3/30/02 Why????? Sucks 1 stars
3/27/02 Daniel mostly same old same old 2 stars
3/26/02 Angela Chase What a complete waste of time!!!! 1 stars
3/25/02 Fartboy Hollywood Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome Fucking Awesome...NOT! 1 stars
3/24/02 Kevin Don't be fooled by the first 20 or so minutes. This movie is really funny shit. 4 stars
3/18/02 Tanner King Absolutely hilarious!! 5 stars
3/14/02 Man1 Sucks the big ass! 1 stars
3/14/02 Moviman Sucks Ass 1 stars
3/11/02 boodoo king a koko a moko a 5rokoo the foko 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  05-Apr-2002 (R)
  DVD: 20-Aug-2002

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Apr-2002


Directed by
  Walt Becker

Written by
  Brent Goldberg
  David Wagner

Cast
  Ryan Reynolds
  Tara Reid
  Kal Penn
  Tim Matheson
  Kim Smith
  Daniel Cosgrove



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