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Apparently some critic felt the need to make a name for himself and proclaimed this film to be "Animal House for the new generation!"...This film is nothing like Animal House. It couldn't be farther from it, for one simple reason. "Van Wilder" tries, and why it does I can't imagine, to wrap itself in sentiment and messages about maturity or something to that effect. It tries to come to a reasonable conclusion. In "Animal House" they just said "F*** it" and trashed the parade. Have screenwriters forgotten what made "Animal House" a classic? It wasn't the crude humor or the massive displays of lust, although those contributed. What made the Deltas great was the sense of unbridled anarchy that few "teen films", if any, have captured since. "Van Wilder" is a disgrace to the National Lampoon logo and its creators should be stoned at the city gates.
After the better part of a decade in college, Van Wilder's father pulls
the plug and leaves Van with little option but to drop out. However
when he is offered money to organise a party for a terminally uncool
fraternity, Van realises that he maybe has a chance. An unkind expose
on Wilder in the college paper by conveniently gorgeous Gwen, actually
serves to increase his reputation and soon he has people queuing up to
pay him to organise more parties. Meanwhile though, Gwen wants more
stories on Van, whereas Van just wants more Gwen.
The film opens with a title sequence that is cheap looking and lacks style and moves straight into a scene where an old Oriental woman appears to be giving oral sex to "our hero". And so it continues in this vein with no obvious or crude joke left undelivered. We have stiff Indians talking dirty (see the clever contrast there?), farting strippers (for no reason other than delivering a rubbish "blow job" joke), sandwiches made with dog ejaculate and so on. We are never in danger of the film being better than this and indeed nobody involved seems concerned with ticking all the basic genre boxes and leaving it at that. The material is uninspired and uninspiring; occasionally bits of it made me laugh but most of it was either boring or just crude to the point of being puerile. I imagine that fans of college comedies may enjoy this but for the casual viewer and most people over the age of 21, there will be very little to justify watching this for.
The cast match the material in absolutely doing the basics. Reynolds mugs his way along but is more annoying than anything else he learns the hard way that you can't force charm and screen presence, because he gives it all he can here but fails. Of course compared to Reid, watching him is like a masterclass in the art of acting. Reid does the same character that she always does; I know she had had personal issues just before this film but it is hard to excuse her very weak performance. Matheson, Gleason, Armstrong and Estrada (yes, you heard me) all appear in tiny adult roles that add nothing but did make me wonder why they bothered. Penn does what the material requires even though it is rather racially questionable. The performances of the rest of the cast is only noticeable for the very male & teenage depiction of women, which can be summed up by watching the scene in which Van calls Gwen's room but gets her flatmate who, for some reason, was on the PC in a tight vest and pants. The film doesn't explain why she was dressed this way or why this scene was necessary but it is clear that the target audience is teenage boys and that the depiction of women is slanted accordingly.
Overall then a mostly unfunny and obvious genre movie that goes through the motions but does very little else. Calling it crude doesn't really do it justice and generally if there is a simple bodily function or gross out joke that can be delivered, it will be delivered here even if it means structuring parts of the plot for the sole purpose of getting to that joke. Those that love this sort of thing will already have flocked to it (and the unnecessary sequel) but for the casual viewer I say this you're better than this.
Ryan Reynolds is truly gifted, which is why he survived this disaster that only tacked on the "National Lampoon" name after it was finished in a vain attempt to link this campus comedy to "Animal House," a true masterpiece compared to this complete and utter embarrassment. This movie tanked at the box office, even in the areas where the allure of "air conditioning" is a main draw. Who in their right mind would commit money to this fiasco except a group of real estate developers looking for a tax break, or perhaps some hillbillies who accidentally struck oil when they were out hunting for possums. Avoid at all costs. And you wonder why Tara Reid is now an E! Channel hostess?
The National Lampoon magazine folded during the filming of their "Loaded Weapon 1" movie back in the 90s, and since then they've dished out nothing but weak remakes of earlier classics, and "Van Wilder" proves to be no exception. Ryan Reynolds is typically annoying as the title character who frees his college from studying and the ideal to better oneself and turns it into a party-zone with the help of recycled gags, predictable one-liners, and a slew of bad supporting actors and actresses. You probably liked this better however, when it featured John Belushi and was called "Animal House."
This is without a doubt, the worst movie I have ever seen. The main
character, chosen no doubt for his uncanny resemblance to a young Chevy
Chase, is funny but the plot simply does not exist.
The gags (when they're there) are trite, hackneyed, and old as rock. This movie will even die in videoland.
In my 47 years of life, I have seen a lot of movies. I have walked out on better movies than this. I did leave 10 minutes before the end because after I visited the bathroom I just wanted to get back into my car and go home.
Not a good movie!
This "effort" attempts to be the new century's version of "Animal House" and it throws every thing but the kitchen sink into the works in an attempt to create that image.. It fails miserably. Not only does the concept itself feel dated, but the execution is so horrendously bad that one can't help but cringe at every line of dialouge or story point in the film. Featuring some of the worst acting this side of Pauley Shore from newcommer Ryan Reynolds (apparently channeling Chevy Chase) and "veteran" teen film actress Tara Reid (whose acting seems to get worse and worse with each performance, if that is possible). Add in poor production values (everything from the boom being in the shot to continuity errors to bad sound mix) and a gratuitous use of contemporary pop songs in an attempt to sell sound tracks and what do you get? A waste of your money! Avoid this film unless you have a burning desire to watch typical wiseass movie frat boys get their jollies by devouring dog semen. GRADE: F
I liked American Pie 1 and 2 and I laughed my way through Not Another
Teen Movie and Scary Movie but Van Wilder was dreadful. It's trying to
be a modern day Animal House, but there's absolutely nothing in this
movie that hasn't been done better a million times before. Van Wilder's
jokes were more gross than funny. I didn't find the main character
interesting on any level whatsoever, which is bad news since the whole
movie revolves around him. All the supporting characters, including all
of Van's buddies as well as the frat boy "villains", were ludicrous
caricatures of characters that have appeared in other, much funnier
I watched this movie on the same day that I saw American Pie 2 and the differences between the two were striking. Both would appear to be going for the same audience but while I thought American Pie 2 was funny, entertaining, and even sweet in a juvenile sort of way, Van Wilder I just found revolting. Even in a sex comedy you have to be interested in the characters and story on some level and in American Pie I liked Jim and his friends and found myself relating to many of their situations and experiences. However, in Van Wilder, the leading pair of Van (Ryan Reynolds) and Gwen (Tara Reid) is as boring and uninteresting as I've ever seen in a movie. Throw in some gross scenes of dog masturbation and you have one pretty awful movie.
Overall, I can say for a fact that this wasn't the worst movie I've ever seen. Jaws 4: The Revenge was definitely worse, but this one's right up there. 1/10
I tried to watch this, but had give up after 10 minutes. It was very irritating watching this movie about a spoiled man/boy, who really needed to get some suicide-help. That would be the best thing for him. You have seen it all before, but much better performed - it's like they were aiming at a college-film that contains EVERY possible cliche available. Save your time, money and mind - let it be left alone in the store!
Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) is the man around campus but hasn't
graduated after 7 years. His father is tired, and stops payment for his
education. So he starts interesting money making schemes. Student
reporter Gwen Pearson (Tara Reid) needs to do a story on him. Taj (Kal
Penn) is a new student under the tutelage of Van Wilder.
This is Ryan Reynolds and only Ryan Reynolds. He is the only thing that keeps this movie afloat. He has the boyish charm that lets him get away with all kinds of hijinx. The movie gathers all the college silliness in a myriad of other movies, and shoves it into this one. And Ryan Reynolds delivers it all with joyful glee. He is the only driving force behind this movie.
National Lampoon's Van Wilder
Economically speaking, most parents would likely prefer to have a permanent high school student as a child than a permanent college student.
Unfortunately, the father in this comedy has the latter.
After seven-years of loafing through college, Van Wilder's (Ryan Reynolds) dad (Tim Matheson) has enough and cuts off all funding to his son.
Forced to go it alone, Van makes an agreement with school heads that he can cram a year's worth of information into his head in six days, and finally graduate.
But that won't be easy, as Van is in a prank-off with a fraternity brother that doesn't like him hitting on his girlfriend Gwen (Tara Reid).
More gross-out comedy than genuine laughs, for some reason Van Wilder has had a cult-like following that relished its over-the-top sexual perversions, and revel in the leads blasé nature.
Incidentally, the ultimate college prank is convincing students to buy textbooks. Yellow Light
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