One hundred percent Van Wilder free

National Lampoon's Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj

on December 01, 2006 by Tim Cogshell
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The central thing missing from National Lampoon's Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj is Van Wilder. There's a lot of Taj, played by Kal Penn, who was in the original Van Wilder movie as well as Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Superman Returns, but is not himself Van Wilder, no matter how much he or the seven producers of this ill-conceived movie (of which Penn is an executive producer) would like him to be.

One might say that a National Lampoon's Van Wilder movie without Van Wilder (as played by Ryan Reynolds in the original National Lampoon's Van Wilder ) is like a National Lampoon's Vacation movie without Chevy Chase as the hapless Clark Griswold. This, of course, would be ridiculous, and the name Clark Griswold doesn't even appear in the title of any of the Vacation movies, whereas the words “Van Wilder” are right there in the title of National Lampoon's Van Wilder for everyone to see. It's a given in the Vacation movies that Chase is Clark Griswold, and Clark Griswold is who we've come to see; thus, for better or worse, Clark (Chase) is in all four of the National Lampoon's Vacation movies.

Conversely, and relevant only to the extent that it's kind of interesting, the kids in the Vacation movies were easily interchanged with little consequence: Anthony Michael Hall was swapped for Jason Lively from Vacation to European Vacation ; Dana Barron Hill and Lively were then replaced by Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki in Christmas Vacation, while, for Vegas Vacation (also known as the forgotten Vacation ), the filmmakers ditched Lewis and Galecki for Ethan Embry (who incidentally was also in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle ) and Marisol Nichols, who, as it happens, is way hotter now than she was in Vegas Vacation, which was almost a decade ago—go figure.

But we digress.

Here, instead of Van Wilder we get Taj (Penn), who is a character from the original National Lampoon's Van Wilder, but, again, is not himself actually Van Wilder. This is problematic since the only reason to have seen the original Van Wilder (to the extent that there was any reason to have seen the original Van Wilder : see the Boxoffice review ), was to experience Reynolds as Van Wilder, and, perhaps, Tara Reid before the breast-implant fiasco. In any case, neither Reynolds nor Reid's breasts are in this sequel to National Lampoon's Van Wilder. As for the storyline of this Van Wilder-less, Van Wilder movie; Taj goes to a stuffy Oxford-like English university and pretends to be Van Wilder, but isn't. He gets the girl anyway. Distributor: MGM
Cast: Kal Penn, Dan Percival, Lauren Cohan, Holly Davidson, Anthony Cozens, Glen Barry
Director: Mort Nathan
Screenwriter: David Drew Gallagher
Producers: Peter Abrams, Robert L. Levy, Andrew Panay, Elie Samaha, Natan Zahavi
Genre: Comedy
Rating: Rated R for pervasive crude sexual content, some nudity and language
Running time: 95 min.
Release date: December 1, 2006

Tags: sequel, Kal Penn, Dan Percival, Lauren Cohan, Holly Davidson, Anthony Cozens, college, sex, crude comedy, Glen Barry, Mort Nathan
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