Movie review

Old School
Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn
Director : Todd Phillips

Old SchoolEveryone who is old wishes they were young; it's a simple fact. But there is no substantial way of being in your prime again, unless you go to great measures to recreate your heyday and pretend everything is like it was twenty years ago.
    Enter a trio of thirty-something friends: Mitch (Luke Wilson), Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughan) who are all about to settle down and ease into predictable, boring lives. One afternoon Mitch comes home early from a business conference to find his lover about to engage in a ménage a trois with two blindfolded strangers. Things aren't made any better when he answers the door to a man who says, "I'm here for the gangbang." Needless to say, Mitch leaves his partner. Frank is about to get married and Beanie is already married with a son. Mitch buys a house right on a college campus and they attempt to recreate their glory days by starting an off-campus frat house.

Old School is incredibly humorous in places and has some set pieces that work a treat (such as an initiation ceremony involving cinder blocks, rope and genitalia . . . I say no more), but it let down by the second half of the film and the serious underlying issues that are present. Death, divorce and failure all take cameo parts in the film, but not prominently enough to spoil the brainless fun and slapstick humour.
    Wilson, Ferrell and Vaughan all put in decent performances, although this isn't exactly a hard task when your role is partying and acting silly. In terms of the female counterparts, Juliette Lewis plays Mitch's cheating wife, while Perrey Reeves, Ellen Pompeo and 24's Elisha Cuthbert also star as the women in the men's lives in the forms of wives, one night stands and friends.
    The real star of the show, without a doubt, is an extremely old pensioner named Blue; a member of the fraternity who joins in such events as half-naked KY jelly wrestling (when confronted with two girls to wrestle the old man exclaims, "Bring it, you pansies!") and the various other illicit activities the men get involved in.

There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but not as many as there could be, and some of the jokes and comic situations are nowhere near as funny as they might have been if more time had been spent on creating something slightly more original. The comedy is very predictable but nonetheless amusing, if not completely hilarious.
    Fans of teen movie marvel Sean William Scott will be pleased to hear 'The Stiffmeister' makes a short appearance as a mullet-clad, tranquilliser-wielding redneck who provides the animals for Beanie's son's birthday bash. Snoop Dogg is also in attendance; rapping at Mitch-A-Palooza, an outdoor backyard festival inspired by the rock festival Lollapalooza.
    Old School is not a comedy just for teens either; a lot of older people will not only find it amusing, but will identify with the mature male characters. I was going to give it three out of five, but decided to give it another half a star just for the witty clips after the credits. American Pie for middle aged men.

:: Graham Drummond

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