Van Wilder: Freshman Year Unrated

Harvey Glazer

BY Will SloanPublished Jul 9, 2009

In the opening scene of Van Wilder: Freshman Year (the Batman Begins of the Van Wilder saga), the party animal legend who will one day become Ryan Reynolds takes to the podium at his high school graduation to deliver a commencement address. Wouldn't you know it, a buxom fellow graduate emerges from a trap door conveniently located behind the podium and begins fellating our hero. Of course, his face distorts in any number of directions and his speech becomes littered with such double-entendre words as "head," "going down" and, yes, "coming." Such is the nature of this direct-to-video prequel, which, unlike the not-especially-distinguished National Lampoon-branded 2002 gross-out, doesn't even try to develop a halfway convincing plot. Instead, it's all sex jokes all the time, with a disciplined single-mindedness that feels downright pornographic. For the record, what little plot there is involves Van arriving at university, turning a repressed and religious student body onto the joys of casual sex, and (sigh) matching wits with the hard-nosed, military-trained dean. The "outrageous" gags come fast and furious in this "unrated" cut ("More Babes, More Beer" vows the front cover) — if you suspect the snooty dean will get a blow job from a dog, you are regrettably correct — which isn't helped at all by Jonathan Bennett's smarmy, mugging lead performance. Still, as terrible as Van Wilder: Freshman Year is, I have to admire its lack of pretension; it's a delivery vehicle for sex puns ("I have a B.A., an M.A. and a PhD, and I received a BJ from a double-D") and the occasional bare breast, no more and no less. "Imagine how many 16-year olds are gonna jerk off to this scene," observes someone in the group commentary during a particularly raunchy sex scene. Amen, brother. Other extras include appealingly irreverent making-of documentaries.
(Paramount Pictures)

Latest Coverage