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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 William Goss

"Taj Banal"
1 stars

I must confess, Iíve harbored something of a soft spot for 2002ís 'Van Wilder,' and that spot was called Ryan Reynolds. Alas, four years have passed, and as Sir Snarks-A-Lot himself has wisely opted out of an entirely superfluous sequel, someone got the bright idea to proceed with sidekick Kal Penn and without a single laugh. Should some sadistic individual ever claim that they have a soft spot for 'Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj,' the best course of action would likely be a biopsy.

The staggeringly brilliant maneuver with which director Mort Nathan (Boat Trip) and first-time writer David Drew Gallagher avoid the gaping hole left by their primary talent is to transfer teaching assistant Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Penn, undoing any and all comedic credibility he established with the underrated Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) overseas to Englandís Camford University. There, he is charged with improving the social status of the campus outcasts whilst simultaneously bringing the ever-present elitists down a notch or two by competing in a series of unlikely contests for the coveted Hastings Cup.

Perhaps the only thing more disconcerting than the exhausting innuendos that spill out of Tajís mouth is the ever-tedious application of every campus comedy clichť under the sun. Surely, the outcasts shall best the yuppies (Revenge of the Nerds, Animal House) and every geek will stumble across a significant other/fuck buddy in the process, and of course, their fearless leader manages to woo the girlfriend of the lead prick (Augustís Accepted, and even the original Van Wilder). There isnít a single frame of this film that employs anything resembling an original concept or creative idea, and such meticulous adherence to formula swiftly begets an equally laborious viewing experience.

Taj is no longer the relatively endearing luckless lover, but a cocky authority figure with nary a discernable appealing quality save for his knack for rampant sex euphemisms, each less sensible than the last. As such, heís best suited for leading his motley gang of freaks and geeks that have maybe one dimension of character between them, given that you round up. Thereís the shrill but busty harpy (Holly Davidson), the aggressive alcoholic rugby player (Glen Barry), the stiff dweeb (Anthony Cozens), and the oft-silent incompetent (Steven Rathman) whose blood rushes from one head to the other, resulting in sporadic fainting.

Making matters worse is the exceedingly generic alt-rock soundtrack and a string of beyond juvenile gags, from the fratís name of the Cock & Bulls (get it?) and paintballs to the groin (barely amusing in Septemberís School for Scoundrels, especially less so here), to a half-assed replication of its predecessorís admittedly amusing canine semen gag with a dog named Balzac, not because it has anything to do with the French playwright, but because itís simply hysterical to utter a name that sounds like ďball sackĒ every five minutes. (Hell, my generation probably believes that Franz Ferdinand must have been named after the band, so itís with some conviction that I suggest that any Balzac reference can and will soar over their skulls.) At least the agonizing Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo was creatively crude and crass, if only in comparison, which makes The Rise of Tajís relentless insistence on clichťs that much more wearisome. Nathan even manages to make the gratuitous breast displays the least titillating they could possibly be, and that is something which takes some considerable aptitude to accomplish.

The sole half-inspired moment is a 'Dead Poets Society' reference, but even that manages to be driven deep into the ground within a good thirty seconds. In every other conceivable respect, 'Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj' is the epitome of laziness and quite possibly the very antithesis of humor.

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originally posted: 12/16/06 15:28:14
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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
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  01-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 27-Mar-2007



[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Mort Nathan

Written by
  David Drew Gallagher

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

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