I believe we have all seen this one before. Okay, maybe you haven’t seen this actual film yet, but all of us have seen a very similar movie in the past. This direct-to-DVD is absolutely nonsense. “Van Wilder: Freshman Year” is your typical National Lampoon raunchy teen comedy that appeals to no one over the age of 18. Nothing about this film is fresh, yet I don’t think they are trying to fool anyone.
“Van Wilder: Freshman Year” is at no surprise a prequel to the 2002 instant classic “Van Wilder” starring Ryan Reynolds. Unfortunately, this third installment of the franchise does not star the comedic genius or anyone else from the original. Even supporting actor Kal Penn from the first film who scored his own spin-off, “Rise of Taj”, isn’t in this unnecessary prequel.
It isn’t expected for any of the originals to return to the franchise, but these producers need to realize that they are the reason why the first movie was successful. This movie was no doubt made just for a quick buck. I suppose this is fine if the buyer knows what they are getting themselves into before their purchase. I only expect horny teenage boys to be buying this film anyway.
The cover says it all. Nothing screams quality more than a DVD cover of a girl’s topless back wearing the smallest booty shorts ever with the name of the movie on her tush. I stand corrected as I double check; it just says “UNRATED” on her shorts. I suppose I wasn’t really reading the front, but I digress.
The prequel involves Van Wilder’s first year at Coolidge College. When Wilder, Jonathan Bennett, arrives he quickly realizes the school has a no tolerance policy toward anything party related. This goes as far as kissing. Coolidge is quite a different school then the viewer might remember from the first movie. Mr. Wilder will slowly work at changing his college into a party school while trying to win the heart of the campus hottie played by Kristin Cavallari (The Hills). Van makes a small transformation just to set-up why he is still in college in the first movie. In doing so, Van of course goes through the crazy antics of any normal teen movie with plenty of sex and loads of nudity. Are you teenagers on your way to pick up your copy yet?
Our star Jonathan Bennett is known for “Bachelor Party in Vegas” and makes a decent Ryan Reynolds even though he looks nothing like him. His character isn’t all that similar to the original, but at least he delivers his lines like Reynolds. The movies antagonist, Steve Talley, is much like the “bad guy” in school in the first film; however this one doesn’t really love his girlfriend like the prior. Talley isn’t new to this scene. In fact him and his sidekick in the movie, Nic Nac (Yes, that’s his name), aren’t new to these direct-to-DVD sequels as both were featured in the “American Pie” direct-to-DVD sequels. I basically put these movies in a class of their own as there isn’t much that sets them apart from another.
“Van Wilder: Freshmen Year” has no surprises here. It has the same unintelligent potty humor, outrageous physical comedy, and sexual situations we have all come accustomed to. Although, there’s nothing really wrong with this film except the fact it’s catering to a really small demographic making me think it’s not the smartest move. The ending reminds of past outlandish ending scenarios from movies like “Old School” and “Billy Madison” where there is a bizarre competition where the hero of the movie amazingly pulls off a victory through absurd circumstances. Unbelievable and unoriginal, but we know its coming.
Commentary with Director Hary Glazer and Cast
Creating the Legend: The Making of Van Wilder: Freshmen Year
Going Balls Out: Colossus
Coolidge College: Orientation Video
Decatur (Satire on The Hills)
Van’s Party Supplies