Retro Review: Old School

Written: February 25, 2003

There just comes a time in any man’s life when you have to say enough is enough. I seem to have reached my limit with the “gross-out teen” comedies.

“Old School” features three disenchanted men, Mitch, Frank and Beanie, who decide to create a fraternity in hopes of reawakening their love affair with their college days. Mitch’s (Luke Wilson) new place seems to be the perfect place for the fraternity according to Luke’s pals Beanie (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell). When the best parties of the campus erupt and middle-aged men become pledges, Dean Gordon Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) makes it his mission to stop the hi-jinx.

I remember back to my college days with fond memories, I also remember watching oodles and oodles of fraternity comedies when I was a college chum. I adored the classics like “Animal House”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Meatballs” and “Up the Creek”. I used to howl at the hi-jinx and the nerds overcoming jocks. I even found myself reliving some of those moments when I saw last year’s “Van Wilder”. But with “Old School” I fond myself chuckling through a couple isolated scenes but found most of it to be unimaginative and boring. Have I fully grown up? Or was it the premise and the jokes were lacking? I hope it was the latter.

I loved the cinder block and tranquilizer gun scenes but found that I didn’t care about the characters at all. Why was this in such a basic comedy?

I think that I have become weary of these kinds of movies. This film so wants to be the “Animal House” of the next generation but it doesn’t have the flair or interesting characters that filled that movie to the rafters. Comedies like these need colorful and bold characters, which we can relate to. We also need them so we can appreciate when the “loveable losers” overcome the trying of odds. This is quite evident in the other classics like “Revenge of the Nerds”.

“Old School” is a painful trip down memory lane. Recommended for the college crowd only. The rest of us can relive these memories with the classics.

(2.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Retro Review: Old School

  1. Even though I’m a chick, I enjoy a good randy dudecom where guys get wasted and do stupid things. So “Old School” has some moments that still make me chuckle; however, I don’t love Luke Wilson as the “hero.” He’s very low-key, a perpetual, kinda-dull straight man, and while that works in some films (like “Idiocracy”), it’s not so great here.

    Will Ferrell’s cameo role at the end, though, is priceless.

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