Movie review: 'Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj'

VehiclesEnglandKal PennDaniel PercivalRoger MooreDeathRyan Reynolds

1 star (out of four)

Van Wilder turns milder in ``Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj.'' That's mainly because Ryan Reynolds has aged out of the sneering grad student demographic and isn't in the sequel. But at least it has breasts, and lots of them. English lovelies show us their ``lovelies.'' That's all the review some people need.

``Van Wilder 2'' takes Taj, the Indian-American turned into a man by Reynolds in ``Van Wilder,'' to England for grad school. And while Taj may be just ``a curry-breathing cretin'' to the local snobs, he's determined to make his teaching assistant/resident adviser gigs pay off in lots of choose-your-own-euphemism-for-sex-here and perhaps the reformation of a dorm full of ``losers,'' who remind him of himself, back in the day.

Taj enrolls at Camford, an Oxford knock-off, where the effete elite mock him and see to it that he's put in charge of others they mock. The inhabitants of ``The Barn'' include a cockney tart (Holly Davidson), a science geek (Anthony Cozens), an Irish rugby thug (Glen Barry) and a silent dweeb (Steven Rathman) who has hidden assets that we won't divulge here.

There's a campus-wide contest for a trophy, a contest involving athletic, mental and social (beer drinking) skills. Taj resolves to make the kids in The Barn (he dubs them the Cock and Bulls fraternity) winners by taking that cup.

And if he can snatch the winsome Charlotte (the gorgeous Lauren Cohan) from the prickly, ``double-breasted blue-blooded snot'' Pip (Daniel Percival) in the bargain, so much the better.

Aside from ripping off every ``contest'' comedy in history, ``Van Wilder 2'' is to be embraced for its grasp of British, American and Anglo-Indian slang. Every nickname you've ever heard for male and female genitalia is tossed off, at some point.

A few jokes work. Taj resolves to be an unconventional teaching assistant. He wants the kids to tear up their stodgy textbooks.

``C'mon, you've seen `Dead Poets' Society,' rip out page 32.''

But even at its best (the ``lovelies''), ``The Rise of Taj'' never rises to the level of time-killer. Kal Penn needs to do ``Harold & Kumar 2,'' before he Ryan Reynoldses his way out of being young, snarky and over-sexed, too.

----

'Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj'

Cast: Kal Penn, Lauren Cohan, Anthony Cozens, Daniel Percival. Director: Mort Nathan. Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes. Industry rating: R for pervasive crude sexual content, some nudity and language.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
VehiclesEnglandKal PennDaniel PercivalRoger MooreDeathRyan Reynolds
  • this week's movies
  • Make a night of it

    Find: • Recommended dining • Recommended bars

Comments
Loading