College lampooned yet again

By Ryan Mulloy
April 18, 2002

It is hard to imagine a movie that could depict college life and make you laugh like “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” While we don’t have fraternities here on campus, making this movie more of a world which we will never know, we can still look at this movie as the way it should be.

The years have not been kind for the movies trying to follow in the footsteps of “Animal House,” so the National Lampoon’s crew have added another feature film to their long list of comedies. “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder,” released last Friday, has some big shoes to fill, but gives it the old college try.

The cast is rounded out with some familiar names and a few faces of those actors you know you’ve seen before. Ryan Reynolds plays Van Wilder, the lead character. Reynolds once played Berg on ABC’s short-lived sitcom, “Two Guys and a Girl.” Tim Matheson, a alum of “Animal House,” played Wilder’s father, Vance Wilder, Sr.

Representing the cast of actors whose named you probably don’t know are Paul Gleason. Remember Gleason? He played the principal in “The Breakfast Club” and the police chief in “Die Hard.” The cast also has Curtis Armstrong, who played Booger in the “Nerds” movies. Good to see these guys again, playing the roles they’ve always had: the overbearing old guy and the weird guy.

The movie itself is sick in almost every way it can be. It is certainly not a date movie, as dog’s oversized testicles and other crude jokes are the kind of thing you want to share on that very special date.

That, however, does not mean the movie should not be see. The humor cn be very crude, and the language can be extremely dirty, but that’s what makes this a National Lampoon’s movie.

There are few developed characters in the movie, but those who are developed do a fine job. Reynolds plays the perfect smart-ass who looks like he runs the show. And after seven years of college, you’d like to think you ran the show too. Unfortunately, besides Kal Penn, the actor who plays Wilder’s assistant, there is very little character development,. I can say now that I cannot even name another character, since they were all pretty disposable.

The movie’s theme is inspiring though. It seems the whole theme is that Wilder does not want to leave college and is like a hero for everyone at the school. There is even a scene when he goes to the trouble of throwing a party for the stereotypical nerds on campus.

Overall, this movie is a good time. While it sounds like I wouldn’t recommend this movie, I think this movie has potential to be a college student favorite for years to come. If you don’t mind crude sexual humor, then go see this movie. If your stomach is not as strong as you would like it to be, rent something far more tame. I think Disney has a rather large catalogue.



Disclaimer: These are the personal views and opinions of Ryan Mulloy.

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Ryan Mulloy

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