National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (Unrated Edition)
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Taj (Kal Penn), Van Wilder's assistant in the first film, heads out on his own and heads to England's prestigious Camden University to further his studies. Along the way, he adopts a group of misfits and shows the uptight student body how to get Wilder!
The National Lampoon brand has always had very little to do with the movies it has graced. Even the not-so-bad Chevy Chase Vacation entries didn't really need the imprimatur of the famous satire magazine that had its heyday about 30 years ago: They pretty much became a brand in and of themselves. The same goes for the Van Wilder movies, which we probably haven't seen the last of. Even though Ryan Reynolds, who originated the title character in 2002 doesn't appear, his lowbrow, good-natured goofball spirit remains. The star this time is the eminently likeable Kal Penn, who made a big splash in 2004's Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and was Van Wilder's dorky sidekick Taj Mahal Badalandabad in the first movie. Here he displays more of his mentor's glib confidence, maturing into a sex-crazed, fun-loving grad student roaming the hallowed halls of England's (fake) Camford University. The comic situations he encounters there are simply a pretext for the typical sex, flatulence, beer-drinking, and class-division jokes you'd expect. Most of them come off well, thanks to Penn's comic aplomb, rubbery versatility and the rivalry he induces between the geeky misfit gang he ends up leading, and the snooty, upper-class Fox and Hound fraternity that clearly has to be given its lowbrow do. The battle for the pretty girl (Lauren Cohan, in truly good sport mode) who happens to be the property of super-twit Pipp Everett, the Earl of Grey, ends in predictable fashion, as does the rise of Taj's minions as bearers of the torch for the next Van Wilder, whether Van Wilder appears in it or not. --Ted Fry
Beyond Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj
More National Lampoon Movies
More from Kal Penn
Van Wilder's Guide to Graduating College in 8 Years or More: Everything You Need to Know About Books, Beer and Babes
Stills from Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj
- Deleted scenes
- Gag reel
- "The Rise of Taj" featurette
- "On Set in Romania: Kal Penn Tours The Barn" featurette
- Music videos
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Top Customer Reviews
If you watched to first Van Wilder then you know that Taj was Van Wilder's assistant. Van was one of the coolest people on campus and taught Taj everything he knew. This time Taj tackles his own journey in the United Kingdom. Upon arriving in the United Kingdom he looks to join one of the most prestigious fraternity. He is told that there was a "typographical error" and is told to go to The Barn. The Barn is where all the rejects are. Taj sees potential in these freaks and wants to makes something out of them. He tells them that they can even win the Hastings Cup if they try hard enough. The Hastings Cup is a challenge for all fraternities on campus to compete in. It is a series of academic, athletic, and recreational challenges. Taj and the barn make their own fraternity and join in the games.
The first Van Wilder was much better. Taj was just too uninteresting to make an entire movie about. I'm not saying that this movie doesn't have its funny parts, but for the most part it's just an average movie.
The actors in the movie don't really do a good job of making themselves interesting. The movie itself really lacks any emotion to it. In the original Van Wilder there was a deep moral behind the story. This movie is just an average comedy not worth watch again.
You get music videos, gag reels, deleted scenes, and making of stuff that is all fairly interesting to watch. It's not enough to save this movie from being completely average though. If you really want to check out this movie, I would suggest renting it.
Kal Penn as Taj Badagaddadavida is a pretty likable character. He may not have the screen presence and confidence as Ryan Reynolds (at all), but unlike characters from certain Lampoon movies, he mostly cared about a ragtags group of losers instead of his groin. The film does have are pretty competent characters as well, except for the outrageously racist and villainous upperclassman. Plot-wise, it's like "Animal House" in Europe, where Taj was transferred to a prestigious British university, but then the rich upperclassjerks made him bunk on the House of scalawags and it's up to him to make the House cool and have his team rise up from the higher-ups in the form of a competition rally. The losers consists of Harry Potter, a hooker, an Irish Stereotype, and a gamer who does and says nothing, and though cliche as they are, I got nothing against them. They are concerned about their well-being and just wants to step-up instead of randomly going to parties and do stupid things; okay, Taj influenced them to eventually do those things, but they didn't fool themselves too much. Taj also met a highly-acadmeic love-interest who doesn't appreciate his unorthodox ways of helping his peers, but quickly admires him; she was way too easy to fall for him after just one day and a field trip, but at least she tried to make herself interesting rather than another ditz or whiner.
This is still a National Lampoon movie, so it does have all the annoying vulgar elements like a guy sitting on poo, dog 'sauce' spewing on the audience, embarrassing sexual overtones, girls obsessed with the act of whoopee, and Balzac the Bulldog's trademark massive marbles. Gross and humorless as they may be, at least the movie was tamed on these regards (although it might be due to watching the rated version). Otherwise, I was pretty okay with "Rise of Taj". It's an average underdog tale with little ill will to speak of.
I wasted $3.75 renting the thing.
VAN WILDER 2: THE RISE OF TAJ is a movie that has every silly cliche that every college movie has ever used. The nerds. The frat. The competition. The frat guys girl. The nerd with the super wanger. I have never in my life rolled my eyes at a film so much. The lines are corny, poorly written, predictable and poorly executed. I didn't laugh once in the whole film.
Kal Penn, who plays Taj Mahal Badalandabad has actually been pretty funny in some other movies, but in this, his comedic execution is destroyed by either a poor director or a poor script. Not to mention, for an indian guy, his indian accent is terrible. It comes and goes and in some scenes it's heavier than others.
The only redeeming quality to the entire movie is a collection of attractive women, including Lauren Cohan, who hopefully can bounce back and have a career.
The real shame is HOW THIS MOVIE EVEN GOT THE GREENLIGHT IN THE FIRST PLACE!! I've seen dozens of comedies written by unknown writers who are getting walked over and forgotten because they don't have the connections, and dozens of movies like this get made every year. It's disheartening.
Ultimately, Hollywood is killing themselves by making 50 comedies like this a year, and actually only one or two are any good. Makes you not want to even bother paying to see movies anymore. They just use recycled plots and recycled scenarios and put them to lousy scripts and then stick an UNRATED on the box, hoping all the teeny-boppers will salivate. Don't. This movies junk.