I wasn’t expecting much from the sequel to one of my favorite comedies. In fact, I wasn’t expecting anything at all. While Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj doesn’t hold a candle to the original Van Wilder movie, it still has its moments.
There’s some great dialog, funny lines, and an overall funny cast. While a cameo from Mr. Van Wilder himself (Ryan Reynolds) would have been great, and a big selling point to those skeptics, it was sorely missed, and most likely not even considered for this movie.
I laughed outloud a few times during the movie, not nearly as often as Clerks II, or Accepted, but still enough to make it an actual “comedy”. Though it’s tough to see Kal Penn as an actual “Indian”, with the accent and all, he still pulls it off. Though we know him more for his role in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, he’ll always be able to pull off the role of Taj, Van Wilder’s assistant.
Worth mentioning, is Taj’s nemesis, Pipp Everett (Daniel Percival). Percival plays a great nemesis, and fills the role quite well. As with any comedy nowadays, there has to be a point to it. I guess people don’t want to just go laugh for 2 hours anymore. So, our hero (Taj) is in an epic (but all too often used) battle of college houses (frats) in a London college, where he teachs, and is going for a higher degree. The two houses fight for the right of the Hastings Cup, which doesn’t entitle them to anything, except bragging rights.
They compete in badmitton, rugby, fencing, a trivia contest, and other useless challenges, to see who amasses the most points, and wins the cup.
Through these challenges, Pipp’s girlfriend Charlotte (played by Lauren Cohan) starts to realize what a tool he is, and falls for our hero Taj. Typical? Yes, of course. It’s almost the exact same story line as the original Van Wilder movie, except that it’s in England, and missing Van Wilder himself.
Now that I think about it, there’s really not much of a difference between this sequel, and the original. Storylines are very similar, about the same amount of nudity, same drinking references, same moral story outcome, and the good guys win at the end. The only thing I liked better about the sequel, is that it didn’t contain the ever-annoying Tara Reid. Let’s face it, Tara Reid could ruin any movie, and should be thrown out of SAG, and not be allowed to make another movie for the rest of her sad, drunken life.
Overall, I liked the movie. It felt a bit too much like the original, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it all that much. I still laughed, I still wanted the good guys to win, I still wanted our hero to end up with the girl. Mission accomplished. If you liked the original, you’ll most likely like the sequel, though not quite as much. Viva Ryan Reynolds. Write that down.
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