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Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj
from Film Forum, 12/07/06

One of the front-runners for worst movie of the year, according to critics, is Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj.

This sequel to a crass comedy about hormone-driven college students takes its characters to Camford University in England, where their academic pursuits suffer as they get caught up in sexual escapades. While the conclusion offers a simple sentiment about true love, the film clearly means to entertain with sophomoric "humor" about sex.

Greg Wright (Past the Popcorn) says, "Does The Rise of Taj push the absolute limits of good taste? Or is it of the blander high-school ilk, along the lines of the recent Accepted? The answer—and, interestingly, an answer in which moral watchdogs are probably equally interested—is 'Yes,' to the former. This film is everything an unrated or NC-17 film would like to be without quite actually being one. For some reason that escapes me."

Bob Hoose (Plugged In) says, "The original Van Wilder film had tons of randy humor … and, on the unrated video release … a large-chested woman exposing her breasts. That sophomoric sexual trifecta now makes a return in … The Rise of Taj." He says that the film seems designed to attract "either grown men who hide their faces and sneak in after the lights dim, or hormonally-obsessed teens who aren't supposed to see it in the first place."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "[This] is the sophomore installment in the Van Wilder series, and it is indeed sophomoric. … [It's] a witless syllabus of raunchy frat-house humor that depicts college life as little more than an opportunity for sex and booze."

Mainstream critics are disgusted with it.

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