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Old School

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Old School

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson
Director: Todd Phillips
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: February 2003
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Will Ferrell, Ellen Pompeo, Juliette Lewis, Craig Kilborn, Elisha Cuthbert, Andy Dick, Jeremy Piven, Seann W. Scott

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

In ROAD TRIP, director Todd Phillips was able to take a tired genre, the teen comedy, and make it feel fresh and funny. In his most recent attempt, OLD SCHOOL, he seems to have completely lost his touch. Although the movie alternates between bad slapstick and relationship drama, it is the slapstick that is slightly the better of the two. With jokes about fat people, beer guzzling and oral sex classes, the movie is about as fresh as last week's pizza.

Like most people, I have certain rules which have been proven by the test of time. One of these is that movies featuring Saturday Night Live alumni are usually bad. OLD SCHOOL, which stars SNL veteran Will Ferrell, again validates the usefulness of this maxim. Ferrell and usually reliable Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn play Frank, Mitch and Beanie, three guys in their thirties and forties who start a fraternity at a college they don't attend. Their egalitarian boy's club, which they began as a ruse in order to keep the college from repossessing their house, will take anyone, regardless of age.

One of their pledges is an 89-year-old, whom they abuse with "Drop down and give me 10 [push-ups]," when he doesn't perform as commanded. This grizzled, old codger almost has the time of his life when he tries wrestling two young and topless coeds coated in KY Jelly. The event -- surprise -- proves too much for him.

When the guys aren't acting like obnoxious teenagers, Frank, Mitch and Beanie try coping with their relationship problems with the women in their lives. Get out a scorecard if you want to keep them and their various wives and girlfriends straight. On second thought, forget the scorecard since you won't care, even if the movie, with its sappy moments, thinks you will.

Usually cameos are surefire ways to put a little spice into an otherwise bland production. But OLD SCHOOL's two cameos, one by a rapper and another by a political spinmeister, fall as flat as the movie itself.

OLD SCHOOL runs 1:30. It is rated R for "some strong sexual content, nudity and language" and would be acceptable for older teenagers.

My son Jeffrey, almost 14, gave it ** 1/2, saying that he thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was funny.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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