National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Kal Penn as Taj Mahal Badalandabad
Lauren Cohan as Charlotte Higginson
Daniel Percival as Pipp Everett, the Earl of Grey
Glen Barry as Seamus O’Toole
Anthony Cozens as Gethin
Steven Rathman as Simon
Holly Davidson as Sadie
Tom Davey as Percy
William de Coverly as Roger
Beth Steel as Alexandra
Amy Steel as Penelope
Jonathan Cecil as Provost Cunningham
Roger Hammond as Camford Dean
Kulvinder Ghir as Taj’s Father
Shobu Kapoor as Taj’s Mother

Special Features:
Deleted scenes
Gag reel
“The Rise of Taj” featurette
“On Set in Romania: Kal Penn Tours The Barn” featurette
Music videos

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Languages
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 98 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“Ruder, cruder, and even wilder than its predecessor, ‘National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj’ is a balls-out campus comedy filled with nonstop laughs and sexy student bodies!

Having learned the ways of women from his legendary mentor, Taj Badalandabad (Kal Penn) sets out to study abroad (or two) at England’s prestigious Camford University. But he and his bottom-heavy bulldog, Balzac, are quickly rebuffed by the elitist members of Camford’s top fraternity. So with the help of a few new friends – and a bold new attitude – Taj plans to teach the school snobs a lesson they’ll never forget!”

“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj” is unrated, but the theatrical version was rated R for pervasive crude sexual content, some nudity and language.

The Movie:
I never saw the first “Van Wilder” film, so I can’t compare the two movies. However, it doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to guess what you’ll find in “Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj.” Yes, there are a lot of sex jokes. Yes, only a couple of them are funny. Yes, there’s nudity. Yes, the script is weak and only serves to string together the aforementioned nudity and sex jokes. No, you won’t actually find Van Wilder in the film. However, they take every opportunity possible to remind you that somewhere out there in the world there is a Van Wilder and this movie is associated with him. The final result is yet another lame National Lampoon comedy.

I like Kal Penn as Taj Mahal Badalandabad, but this script does nothing for him. And it’s a little painful to hear him do the Indian accent for 98 minutes. Lauren Cohan is hot as Charlotte Higginson, but this is the wrong film for her, too. None of the other cast is particularly memorable. In fact, it’s quite hard to believe that any of the students in Taj’s group are the social outcasts that they are portrayed to be.

The Extras:
This DVD has your standard offerings of bonus features:

Deleted scenes – There are a handful of bonus features, none of which are particularly noteworthy. There is a slightly different version of the ending where you see each of the misfits hook up with various ladies.

Gag reel – This is your standard gag reel with flubbed lines, practical jokes, and other such silliness.

“The Rise of Taj” featurette – Your typical ‘making of’ featurette is here. Many of the cast members are interviewed, but not all of them. They discuss the filming, the casting, and the usual stuff.

“On Set in Romania: Kal Penn Tours The Barn” featurette – Penn takes you on a tour of the sets in Romania, as you probably guessed from the title.

Music videos – There are a couple of music videos, one of which features Kal Penn in some original footage for the video.

The Bottom Line:
Unless you’re a die hard Kal Penn fan, I strongly recommend you avoid “Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj.”

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