Ferrell, Vaughn and Wilson go Old School
"Old School" is not funny and it's juvenile. Okay I lied; it is funny and quite enjoyable, in places. It focuses on 3 adults who set about regaining their youth by setting up an outlandish fraternity and their battle against the corrupt Dean who wants them off campus. Although the storyline is not brilliant, the movie provides a great vehicle to demonstrate the comedy talents of Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, which is surprising as I am not a fan of plotless movies or Will Ferrell. But "Old School" takes the usual college humour that you see in the likes of "American Pie" and places it in the hands of adults which gives it a slightly different slant.
When Mitch (Luke Wilson - Legally Blonde) decides to surprise his girlfriend by returning home early from a business trip, he finds her entertaining several naked strangers. With his life suddenly turned upside down, he starts a fresh with the help of his old college buddies, Frank (Will Ferrell - Zoolander) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn - Domestic Disturbance). He decides to rent a house at his old college which opens up a whole new life. To celebrate Mitch's new found freedom and in a bid to recapture their youth, they throw a huge college party. With its success they use their newly found popularity to set up a college fraternity dedicated to partying. Unfortunately the Dean of the college will do anything to stop their fun as he holds a grudge against them from his college days.
In the lead role of Mitch is Luke Wilson, the younger brother of Owen Wilson. Although he provides an amusing performance, he is over shadowed by his co stars. His best scenes appear early on when he discovers his girlfriend watching Porn, after that he seems to struggle to make his mark. Over shadowing Luke Wilson is Vince Vaughn as Bernard 'Beanie' Campbell. A millionaire family man who is starting to feel constrained by his wife and child. When the opportunity arises for him to try and recapture his youth, he grabs it with both hands. Vaughn is brilliant through out "Old School" as his straight faced comedy provides a good balance to the outrageous Will Ferrell.
Completely stealing the movie is Will Ferrell as Frank 'The Tank' Ricard. Although he is newly married, the sudden re-immersion back into college life makes him realize that maybe he was not ready to settle down. Ferrell is magnificent in the film, something you never hear me say, as he is allowed to let his self defacing comic style to run riot. One particular scene which sticks in my mind is when he gets blind drunk and attempts to lead a non existent crowd streaking through the streets.
The supporting cast is reasonable with the likes of Jereny Piven, Leah Remini as well as Seann William Scott providing good supporting performances. Special mention should go to Juliette Lewis as Mitch's two faced girlfriend, the opening scenes when she is caught in the act are hysterical.
The writer and director of "Old School" is Todd Phillips who also directed and wrote "Road Trip". Phillips does have a good skill at creating college based humour. In "Old School" he has not had to rely too heavily on gross out comedy, but has capitalized on the two comedy styles of Vaughn and Ferrell to make you laugh. Although there is a reasonable storyline, Phillips has allowed the comedy to be the main focus of the film which is probably a good job.
What this all boils down to is that "Old School" is not the funniest comedy I have ever seen and the story line may play second fiddle to the performances but it is very enjoyable. Ferrell and Vaughn bring excellent entertainment with their diverse comedy and Phillips does a good directional job of keeping it at a good pace. If you enjoy the likes of "American Pie" and "Van Wilder Party Liaison Officer" then you will almost certainly enjoy this.