National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002) Blu-ray Review

May 02, 2018 12:27 AM EST
By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

If you are a fan of Reynolds or National Lampoons I suggest you add this Blu-ray to your collection.

National Lampoon has had a long tradition of comedic films beginning with 1978's Animal House.  Many of these movies have gone on to earn cult status and have given us some the best comedy scenes in movie history.  How can forget tying grandma to the roof of the car after she passed away in Vacation or the numerous moments that showcased the genius that was John Belushi.  In 2002  they released Van Wilder, another farce set on a college campus.  While the movie didn't reach critical acclaim (not even close) it did resonate with fans.  Lionsgate has now released the unrated version on Blu-ray and digital download for everyone to own and enjoy.

Vance "Van" Wilder (Ryan Reynolds; Deadpool) is what one would call a "super senior" at Coolidge College.  He has been there for seven years with no reason or desire to leave.  He is beloved on campus and  - some say - kind of a legend.  He doles out wisdom as often as he throws kick butt parties.  His father (Tim Matheson; National Lampoon's Animal House), however, is tired of Van wasting time and money and cuts Van off.  He must now scramble to come up with the tuition money to stay in school.

At the same time, Gwen Pearson (Tara Reid; Sharknado) is given the assignment for the school paper to write an article about the ever elusive Van Wilder.  She starts following him around in order to get the scoop but finds it very difficult to get Van to cooperate.  However, over time she comes to realize that Van's partying ways, and the man himself, are more than seems on the surface.  As she digs deeper she discovers a scared young man with a humanitarian heart who just wants others to be happy.

This young version of Reynolds is a preview of the Deadpool man to come.  The same sense of sarcasm we see now was always evident albeit in a much less mature way.  He plays the College party guy perfectly.  Reid is ok yet slightly annoying and the chemistry between the two is merely average as opposed to outstanding.  Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar Series) is terrific as the stereotypical international student who becomes Van's assistant while simultaneously get laid.  Richard Bagg (Daniel Cosgrove; Beverly Hills, 90210) is obnoxious and annoying as Gwen's Medical School a$$hole boyfriend.  He plays this part perfectly.

The Blu-ray is a 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 1080p resolution.  Since the movie is 16 years old the picture is fine but nothing special.  The Dolby 5.1 audio transfer is well done with little artifacting but the mix is merely adequate. The Disc comes with several extras including: Drunken Idiot Kommentary, Party Legends, Pledges and ‘Bull'-ies, Ultimate College Party Guide Gwen-ezuma's Revenge, Testicles of the Animal Kingdom Write That Down, Blu-Book Exam, Music Video: "Bounce off the Walls" by Sugarcult, Deleted scenes, Outtakes, Burly TV Specials, and Comedy Central's ‘Reel Comedy: National Lampoon' Van Wilder'. While plentiful these extras don't offer all that much interesting content for the audience to enjoy.

Watching this film I couldn't help but be reminded of several other college, frat party type films and that Reynolds too this experience and moved on.  Watching him in this role made me think that this is what Deadpool would have been like in college.  Having said that is is a fun little film that I could see achieving cult status as it has a few memorable and laugh out loud scenes.  It was also fun to watch Reynolds in his younger days before his "sexiest man alive" status.  It also 

As movies go,  you should do better but you could also do worse.  so if you are a fan of Reynolds or National Lampoons I suggest you add this Blu-ray to your collection.

Grade: B-

Directed By:
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 94 minutes
Distributed By: Lionsgate

Stream from Amazon Prime
Purchase National Lampoon's Van Wilder from the iTunes store.
Stream on Vudu / Fandango

For more information about National Lampoon's Van Wilder visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. This release has been provided to FlickDirect for review purposes. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

National Lampoon's Van Wilder images are courtesy of Lionsgate. All Rights Reserved.

FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.


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