Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)

Kal Penn and Holly Davidson in Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)

The Rise and Fall of Wilder

Tits and cock jokes alone do not make a good movie and sadly in the case of "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" that's all there really is. Okay bit of a lie as we have that old favourite of two University houses being rivals, a competition and some under hand tactics as the underdogs battle the toffs but that is as routine as all the cock and tit jokes. As such to put it simply "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" is not a patch on "Van Wilder" and even with it basically being the further adventures of Taj as he seeks out the pink taco does little to make it any better. In fact the following year we got "American Pie Presents Beta House" which basically uses the same rival house storyline and does a better job of it.

Having graduated under the guidance of Van Wilder, Taj Mahal Badalandabad (Kal Penn - Superman Returns) heads to England and the traditional Cramford University where he is to advance his learning whilst working as a teaching assistance. But as soon as he arrives he falls foul of the Toffs who run the Fox & Hound House, finding himself rejected and sent to the Barn to be with the misfits. Unwilling to accept defeat he creates a new house The Cock & Bulls and enters the Hastings competition where he comes into direct competition with the arrogant Pip (Daniel Percival) and the Fox & Hounds. But that is not all he is competing Pip for as Taj also falls for his girlfriend Charlotte (Lauren Cohan) who grows fond of Taj and his laid back attitude.

Lauren Cohan as Charlotte in Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)

To be honest "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" was on a loser right from the start as whilst the character of Taj Mahal Badalandabad was an amusing supporting character in the first movie it was Ryan Reynolds as Van Wilder which made the movie work. So with no Ryan Reynolds or Van Wilder this sequel was always going to struggle and with Taj heading to England and the University of Cramford immediately sets it up as basically a reworking of "Oxford Blues" before bringing in the competition element. As such there is little which is original about the storyline as we watch Taj end up with the geeks, falling foul of a bunch of toffs whilst falling for the girlfriend of lead toff Pip. Even the actual competition element which has such daft elements as a drinking challenge and dog show is all rather ordinary.

All of which means is that rather expectedly "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" is all about the humour and that means the sex jokes. Now there is plenty of sex jokes from an opening painful experience as Taj tries to join the mile high club to dealing with a group of students with one endowed like a horse whilst another who likes to give blow jobs. But none of it is clever and everything can be pretty much second guessed from Sadie flashing her tits during a badminton match to Taj's attempts to bed Charlotte being interrupted by his parents. Of course those who just want sex gags and nudity will find their lusts satisfied but anyone who wants anything more, well you won't get it.

And as for the acting well there are some pretty girls, a very over the top toff and a text book nerd, quite literally. Plus of course there is Kal Penn as Taj Mahal Badalandabad who does his best to make the comedy work but is so on his own that it is mission impossible. To be fair Penn is the best thing about "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" as he does create this character who has grown, who has a bit of the Van Wilder confidence about him but is all nice guy.

What this all boils down to is that if all you want is some unoriginal sex jokes and some topless girls well "Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj" will probably amuse. But if you want anything more, anything close to originality then you are going to be seriously disappointed as all you get is basically the same storyline used in other movies just with different names to the characters.