Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj

Bomb Rating: 

It's not like somebody hasn't made a crappy sequel to a crappy original before, but it's just sad when the sequel is so far below the original in quality that one has to wonder how anybody associated with the film could live with themselves. Frankly, I think "National Lampoon" forgot that this kind of crap is supposed to go straight to the sale bin at Blockbuster.

Every joke in "Van Wilder 2" is either repeated from the first "Van Wilder" or culled from some other movie. There isn't an original moment in the entire thing. Is this a surprise? I suppose not, but when the filmmakers don't even bother to make the bulldog's balls big all the time, one realizes that either they're simply too lazy, don't care, or have been guaranteed a certain amount of revenue by the "National Lampoon" name to warrant ignoring consistency and attention to detail.

There are so many things that don't make sense, it's hard to begin. If this were a normal movie, I'd simply complain about the story, which is one of those "Revenge of the Nerd" type plots where there's an asshole fraternity, a nerd fraternity, and a competition in which the nerd fraternity beats the asshole fraternity. How many times have we seen that? Then there's the hot chick, Charlotte (Lauren Cohen), who for no good reason is dating the head of the asshole fraternity, Pipp (Daniel Percival). Naturally, she falls for Taj (Kal Penn). Taj teaches the nerd fraternity how to be non-nerds. The nerd fraternity includes Seamus (Glen Barry), an Irish guy who headbutts people and hates the British, but inexplicably attends a British college.

There's Gethin, the super-smart guy who inevitably wins the quiz part of the competition. There's Simon (Steven Rathman), who doesn't talk, but who we eventually discover (after he starts talking - oh, miracle!) has an 11-inch penis. Finally, there's Sadie (Holly Davidson), who's somehow a member of the fraternity and hotter than hell, but since she's a cockney slut, she's apparently been outcast. And since when did self-absorbed asshole fraternity guys not want hot sluts around? Hmmmm.

Actually, the plot was the least of this film's problems. To say there are continuity errors would be an insult to continuity errors. I mean, somehow the nerd frat ends up winning the rugby challenge despite the fact that only Seamus plays rugby. THEY DON'T EVEN TECHNICALLY HAVE A TEAM! For Christ's sake, the filmmakers introduce the rugby victory like an aside, assuming the audience isn't even paying attention.

Then there's the scene, stolen right from "American Pie" where Taj's father barges into the room just as he's about to have sex with Charlotte. A naked Charlotte ducks into the closet while Taj and his dad proceed to have a heart-to-heart that is specifically the kind of conversation one would expect if they didn't know that Charlotte was actually in the room! You know, it's that embarrassing type conversation where Taj's dad encourages his son to "hit that ass" followed by Taj's admission that he's fallen for Charlotte. EXCEPT CHARLOTTE IS IN THE CLOSET AND TAJ KNOWS IT! Seriously, we've all seen the scene a million times. Someone is hiding nearby and hears something they're not supposed. Somehow, someway, "Van Wilder 2" not only rips off this generic, boring scene, it actually manages to make it worse. This is some kind of accomplishment, let me tell you.

I basically sat in my theater seat in complete horror through the entire thing. The only moment of surprise was when Sadie's "secret" boyfriend didn't turn out to be Ryan Reynolds. In fact, I suspect that was the intent all along, to have Reynolds make a cameo, but the filmmakers discovered even Reynolds wouldn't stoop that low. I don't know exactly how low that is, but it's not visible to the naked eye.

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