Beer pong is a game of impulsiveness, immaturity, and amplified distractions, so the fact that Road Trip: Beer Pong has all these characteristics, I suppose it can be seen as faithful to its subject matter. That's about one of the only things I can credit the film for, as it seems to be predicated off of the worst tendencies in contemporary raunchy comedies.
The film stars Preston Jones as Andy, a simple college kid with a loyal but somewhat oppressive girlfriend (Julianna Guill), who has just transferred to Andy's college in Ithaca. Andy and his buds Korkin (Michael Trotter, who looks nothing shy of a young Ashton Kutcher) and Razor (Daniel Newman) are beer pong players for their college and are about to compete in the national tournament. Things get better when Andy realizes that one of the beer pong advertised is a young French woman whom he had a thing with years back. Now they have an extra incentives to head out to nationals and decide to take a road trip. Blink if you think it'll be a crazy ride. It all starts when they try and gain sponsorship from a local despot named Arash (Danny Pudi), whose native country has a coup leading him and the group of collegians arrested and abandoned in a random town in Maine.
The film opens as an orientation of the college by current student Kyle Edwards, who returns from the original Road Trip film reprised by DJ Qualls. I've mentioned my appreciation for Qualls as an actor and screen-presence, mainly for his charming, every-man nature and likable charisma. Even in this film, as mediocre and as dreary as it is, Qualls finds humor and likability. Even if he is consistently being hit on by a mother-daughter team attending the campus tour.
The bar has been raised for comedies in the last eight or so years. Comedies like Road Trip: Beer Pong are similar to the series of spin-offs bearing the American Pie name, as they appeal to the smaller percentages by marketing the lowest common denominator of comedy. These are films that feature excessive nudity and confuse zealous amounts of language and bawdiness for wit and humor. Compare this to the films of Judd Apatow, some of the most humanistic and hilarious comedies you'll be able find in this day and age.
Because the bar has been raised, my main complaint with Road Trip: Beer Pong is its inability to even function as a faithful member of its genre. It mistakes excessive vulgarity and nudity for humor, completely shunning the most crucial factor in comedy, which is obviously the writing. To do that alone is a very poor move; to have it leach onto a film from 2000 and have such minimal continuity from it - like one character - in hopes to garner more viewership is nothing shy of disingenuous.
Starring: Preston Jones, Michael Trotter, Daniel Newman, Julianna Guill, Danny Pudi, and DJ Qualls. Directed by: Steve Rash.
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