Writer: Todd McCullough (Screenplay) Brent Goldberg, David Wagner (Characters)
Starring: Jonathan Bennett, Kristin Cavallari, Kurt Fuller, Steve Talley, Nestor Aaron Absera, Nick Nicotera, Jerry Shea
Plot: Van Wilder starts his freshman year at Coolidge College and embarks on an adventure to land the campus hottie and liberate his school from sexual oppression and party dysfunction.
Tagline – The man. The myth. The beginning.
Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Overly Forced Prequel
Story: Van Wilder: Freshman Year starts with Van (Bennett) heading off to Coolidge college to follow in his family’s footsteps before graduating to work with his father. Arrive at the college Van learns that Dean Charles Reardon (Fuller) has it in for the family, the guys have been pushed into a military plan and the girls are religious.
Van joined by stoner Farley (Absera) and Yu Dum Fok (Shea) to turn the college around to become what Van is expecting and we learn how he become the iconic legend of the Coolidge.
Thoughts on Van Wilder: Freshman Year
Characters – Van Wilder was a character we met in 2002, this time we learn how he did in his first year at college, we see how he was always the quick witty that was willing to put himself out there to help people find themselves. We can let him off certain mistakes and differences from the later version of Van, but this one never seems to have the true confidence the high school implies he has. Kaitlin is the daughter of a military man, who is trying to follow in her father’s footsteps, everything else about her is just a carbon copy of the Tara Reid character first time around, dating a bad guy Van teaches her there is more to life. Dean Charles Reardon has been waiting for a Wilder to join the college to get revenge, he wages war on Van along with LT Dirk Arnold who is the bad boyfriend out to keep his woman and believes he is the best part of the military college.
Performances – Jonathan Bennett just doesn’t have the same charisma as Ryan Reynolds, he doesn’t have the same ability to be quick witted and you just don’t believe that his filled with that same natural confidence. Kristin Cavallari is trying her best, but as the character is basically just meant to be Tara Reid again we lack giving her a chance to make herself anything original. Kurt Fuller does his best with the material and could well be the best performer in the film. we get typical college level character performances here.
Story – The story here brings us Van Wilder’s first year at college, now we get a few winks at where he character will end up and certain lines he uses in everyday life. The problems with this come from the fact it is exactly the same story, Van meets girl that is dating a bad guy and spends his time trying to win her heart making a rival, we have the foreign student who wants to learn the way of love and the Dean who doesn’t like a Wilder. This lacks any originality to the story, just wants to do the winks about the original, like look here this is where we got that from. We get the same grossed out comedy moments that are mostly just trying to keep one step ahead of the rest.
Comedy/Romance – The comedy in the film is mostly grossed out humour, for me personally it misses a lot, but if this is what you like you will enjoy this. The romance is rinse repeat from the original and not that important to what we see.
Settings – The film is set at the same college Coolidge, only in the prequel it is a military college, which seems strange because it was always meant to be a basic college with parties and classes.
Final Thoughts – This is a forced prequel we didn’t really ask for let alone need, it has poor versions of the characters we did enjoy in the first one and just repeats the jokes from the original.
Overall: Pointless prequel.