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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
Not a total train wreck... but probably should be avoided
You know things aren't going well when the title character doesn't make an appearance in the 'sequel'. As much as I enjoyed Kal Penn in the first Van Wilder (and Harold and Kumar), he isn't given much to work with here.
The script is awful, just brutal. I think I laughed twice throughout the whole thing. I'm sure nobody is watching this type of movie for compelling characters and riveting plot, but when almost every single joke falls completely flat... every other blemish on the script becomes glaring. There are completely nonsensical subplots thrown about that reference secondary characters that you forgot were introduced in the first place, a silly competition that never makes any sense and an embarrassing turn by the bulldog that made his infamous scene from the first "Van Wilder" look like high art. If you sat a twelve year old in a room with a typewriter and told him to write "Revenge of the Nerds in England" he couldn't do much worse than what's given here. The worst part is that the movie gets consistently less funny as it goes on. The final 15 minutes or so is cringe inducing.
The direction isn't much better. The whole thing has a look of a made for cable TV movie you'd see on a kid's network. Not only is Kal Penn inconsistent with his accent from scene to scene, sometimes it's every other line. On a few occasions, I couldn't even make out the dialog. The actors clearly didn't give a clean read but it made through to the final cut anyways. I realize this was made on the cheap, but you can tell the folks behind the camera didn't put forth much effort. Either that or they didn't have the time. Regardless, it's not pretty to watch.
The only saving grace are the actors. Despite Kal Penn not bothering to hold his accent, everybody on screen appears to be having a good time. Even if everything else is awful, I can't hate a movie where it at least appears that the actors enjoyed their work. They all seemed determined to give their best despite what they all must have known was horrendous material. Kal and the female lead (Lauren Cohan) admirably build some chemistry with little help from their lines. Holly Davidson also steals a couple of scenes as the "cockney" member of the group.
While I didn't think this was a complete disaster, you'd be wise to avoid it.
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