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Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (UR)
DVD disk
03.27.2007 By: Mathew Plale
Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (UR) order
Director:
Mort Nathan

Actors:
Kal Penn
Lauren Cohan
Glen Barry

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Kal Penn) carries the legacy of his mentor, Van Wilder, to teach a bunch of collegiate social outcasts to come out of their shells and humiliate a rival fraternity.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The National Lampoon brand was synonymous with outrageous, disrespectful, satirical comedies. It still is, in a way. Though truth be told, Kal Penn is no John Belushi…he’s not even a Jim Belushi. Yes, Lampoon had turkeys in its hey-day: Class Reunion and European Vacation spring to mind. But at least Class Reunion had a Chuck Berry cameo to fall back on!

The first Van Wilder was like watching a great empire start to crumble. With its sequel, The Rise of Taj (based on a character no one cared about four years ago), it’s in ruins, leaving only blowjob and “pink taco” jokes as rubble.

The stoners/braindeads who dug the original Van Wilder will likely be pleased as spiked punch with this installment, which features their hero Taj (the occasionally-accented Penn) leading a new fraternity, called Cock and Bulls…get it? It’s kind of subtle, but there’s a really great joke in that name, you can be assured.

The Rise of Taj is loaded with this kind of “humor.” The movie, like its predecessor, is designed more for those who don’t “understand” The Three Stooges, but if you place an oversized penis gag in front of them, watch out, because beer will be spurting through their noses by the gallon. And for those who ROFLed the first time around at the “dog pastries” bit, they’ll be pleased to know the Van Wilder series continues its legacy of canine semen jokes.

With this recent onslaught of direct-to-video Lampoon flicks, it’s a wonder how Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj escaped the Dorm Daze Curse. And you know what? I never thought I’d say this, but somebody’s gotta do it: I miss Chevy Chase. And I really never thought I’d say this: I miss Ryan Reynolds!…should that be flipped?
THE EXTRAS
Union Jack-Offs: The Making of… (9:02): Because we really care about the bulldog’s testicles and the details behind the revolting Dog Show scene. Oh, and a disappointment for the pervs: those are peanuts, NOT nipples!

On Set in Romania: Kal Penn Tours “The Barn” (4:43): Taj himself gives us a tour of the building that housed the Cock and Bulls.

There are 7 Deleted Scenes (7:02) that are deleted for reason, and a Gag Reel (3:28) that isn’t funny.

And rounding out the disc are 2 Music Videos and Trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you're as disappointed in the recent installments of the National Lampoon franchise, then you will have already made up your mind to skip it. But in case that's not enough, I sincerely urge you to pick up some early Lampoon.
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