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Kevin M. Horton,
Having graduated in the US as Van Wilder disciple, now self-confident Taj Mahal. arrives as 'don' (teaching assistant) history at England's super-prestigious Cambridge. He falls victim to the haughty, aristocratic leading fraternity's president Pip's usual prank for 'commoners', landing in the derelict 'barn' with other 'social outcasts'. But Taj decides to band the rejects into a new fraternity, Cocks & Bulls, which under his leadership challenges Pip's in the annual all-round excellence championship. Written by
First let me start by saying I was a huge Van Wilder fan and enjoy all of Kal Penn's work, be it in Van Wilder, Harold & Kumar, and even American Desi. This film, however, was a disaster. The plot is unimaginative; Taj arrives in a British university and leads a misfit group of losers against a wealthy, socially elite house in an intra-fraternal competition. The object of Taj's affection unfortunately winds up being the girlfriend of his biggest antagonist, the head of the rival fraternity house (see the original Van Wilder for a blatantly similar romantic situation).
This just wasn't funny at all. I crack up pretty easily and laughed less than 5 or 6 times during an hour an a half. And even then, I was forcing it just because I felt like I forked down $10, and if I didn't even laugh once, I'd have been bamboozled of my money. The only redeeming scenes are those featuring Taj's parents, who are in the film for less than 10 minutes and managed to pull my rating from a 1 to a 2. Every other joke was corny, unfunny, and otherwise dull. The writing and directing were so uninspired that it was actually painful to watch this movie. The problem with this film was half conceptual too, since Taj was only funny in Van Wilder in the limited doses we got. Goofy Indian accents aren't enough to carry an hour and a half long poorly written train wreck, and that's what we saw here.
The thing that really bothered me was that I could feel Kal Penn's career dying before my eyes. I really don't know how anyone who read this script could agree to do it, especially him, because he was the only actor with a future in this movie. He had at least moderate buzz going for him after a string of decent performances, and then releases this nonsense. I can only hope that movie studios will forgive him, because it was difficult to watch this.
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