Kal Penn’s latest film, Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Raj, has opened poorly, at #10 on the U.S. box office. More than that, as of now it’s running an astonishing 0% approval at Rotten Tomatoes — the worst of the worst! (Even that Maha-Flop, Gigli, came in higher, at 6%). The original Van Wilder didn’t do that much box office, but became a hit when it went to DVD. But reviewers here aren’t saying things to the effect of “This was really sexist and adolescent, but kind of funny” the way they often do with gross-out comedies. Here, it seems most are basically saying “I wish I could forget the 90 minutes I wasted watching this piece of crap.” That spells no cult status and no DVD after-life: The Rise of Taj will probably just disappear without a trace.
Has anyone seen it? Is it as “bad as Badalandabad”? Is it as bad as “a day without sunshine”? Does it “not even compare three cup sizes to the half-assed original from 2002”? (Not quite sure what that means, but you get the idea.) The juiciest, ragingest five lines of snark I could find were the following:
Flavorlessly directed by Mort Nathan (2003’s “Boat Trip”) and seemingly penned on a napkin by David Drew Gallagher, “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj” has direct-to-DVD written all over it. There is unequivocally no reason why such an asinine, energy-deprived waste of time has reached theaters. I have had knee-shaking, ass-skewering hemorrhoids that were funnier than this so-called comedy, which doesn’t inspire a single laugh, smirk or smile in all of its running time. (link)
Go MovieBoy. (Oh, and sorry to hear about the hemorrhoids! Ouch!)
Personally, I’m not going to go see The Rise of Taj, even though I do admire what Kal Penn has been able to do in Hollywood. Neither the reviews nor the trailers suggest anything redeeming to be found here. And no, one doesn’t go to movies just to “support” aspiring Indian American actors. Really, the best support anyone can give Kal Penn at this point is an email along the lines of “make less crap, ‘kay?”
Saw it… it’s a stupid movie, but one that’s enjoyable if you go with a group of friends. Time-pass, basically. It has its funny moments, although the movie does move a little too slowly (and I’m someone who loved the original Van Wilder).
It’s not as bad as the reviews make it out to be, however.
I dont care, I am going to watch it neway thank you
It’s good that the Namesake is already done, and 24 filmed, because it’s tough to secure roles in “high” culture films and television (read: appealing to the over-thirty-five crowd) after being reviewed so poorly in a “low” culture film. Kal’s career has a good chance to recover, I hope. It’s strange that when a South Asian is derided in any venue of American pop culture, even if he or she deserves it AND I agree with the general assessment, I can’t help but feel a defensive twinge at the gut level.
They do exist!
Man, everyone worrying over Kal Penn is freaking out unnecessarily. Every actor in Hollywood has made some bad movies. It’s part of the business. That’s especially true of comic actors, since comedies don’t usually have to be “good” to make money as long as they’re funny. Jim Carrey’s early movies consisted of idiotic stuff like “Love Bites”. Adam Sandler’s “Going Overboard” is almost painful to watch. Will Ferrell was in a bunch of terrible stuff before he broke out — “Night at the Roxbury” anyone? Kal Penn’s doing fine by comparison.
And “The Namesake” will help him, as long as it’s not completely awful. Hollywood always makes a big show of loving well-made “ethnic identification” movies (like “The Joy Luck Club”), even as it closes its doors to the people who want to make them.
so i saw the movie and was worried about the stereotypes that it would present before i saw it – but honestly it wasn’t horrible. sure Taj has an accent (which kal penn slipped in and out of) but it really wasn’t the basis of the comedy – like not many jokes were centered around how he says something, really the accent is a facet of his character. his name is long and absurd, but the running joke is that while most of the young people have no problem pronouncing it, the old white dude stumbled over it every time – something i think many of us here would relate to. he studies history, not engineering. he gets the (white) girl in the end. he’s the leader of a pack of nerds, not really presented as a nerd himself. his sister is pretty in the two seconds she’s shown and his parents talk about sex. there aren’t too many stereotypes in taj at all actually.
look this isn’t great film or anything (but, seriously, was anyone expecting it to be?) but i do think that kal penn did put adequate effort into not making the character a stereotypical indian. just because the character has an accent doesn’t mean that he’s automatically exploiting his desi-ness.
besides there was one funny line in the movie: earl of gray (stuffy british dude about to fence with taj): i’ll finish you like my ancestors did. (or something to that affect) taj: you’re going exploit me economically??
I found the movie to be time pass and not as bad as the reviewers are panning it. Worth spending the money if you are not expecting a great masterpiece everytime. Well, really enjoyed KP’s acting and he did come out as cool in this. The humour was also entertaining. I dont care a damn if ppl dont see it, its good enough for me…but then i am only a poor FOB!
Calm yourself, it was the mems who declared him too fat.
Hey am I the only one who thinks that The Namesake looks kinda…crappy? I love Kalpin Modi ( as he credited as an exec producer) but I just dont think he was right for the part. He looks a bit hokey with the long stragly hair. Also the story seems sort of interesting but still the same old “am I Indian or am I American …I dont know, I am so confused!” crap we are used to. And the aging makeup on tabu and the other actor dont look that good. Lastly, Nair has been known to make some flops. She cfan be a bit sacchrine at times and heavy handed. I hope for the best, but then when you see the realease has been delayed 3-4 times I get a bit worried.
Dabba, your last line made me wonder. Is Kal Penn being swept up in the Hollywood lifestyle with gori girls, drug, and booze?
Also, I still want my money back for “Wheres the Party Yaar?” It was nothing but a bundle of bad cliches.
“Fat” was stated by the gal pals who have the dreamy Naveen Andrews and the sexy Jimi Mistry to swoon over. After all, if men notice the faux tans of Ms. Ash, can’t we giggle over the double chin found on Kal?
Amini, The last line is my imagination run amok. As a Pre-pro (Pro for professional and pre as in before, aka wannabe aka struggling artist), this is what I see happening. Hanging out on the set of Kal’s movie which he produces and acts in (Zack Braff anyone…that kid will continue making his oh so quirky and indulgent films where he can play his favorite music, that will continue to be funded until Scrubs goes off the air), I get called in at the last minute and I finally think here is my moment to be on the set with all these glamorus folks.
The Director (Danny Leiner – of H&K and Dude, Where’s my car fame) throws the script at me and says, this scene makes no sense. Kal Penn is a genius but…Kal Penn overhears this and takes a breather from the ass that he is snorting coke out of, has a big shit-eating grin and says Dude…
I tell them that I think better on my feet after I have done some snorting out of the ass myself, and they quickly boot me out of the trailer. Writers should be read not heard, they say.
I return in 30 minutes and hand them a brilliantly comic scene for the aptly titled Gogol Taj Kumar – Death of a Pimp. Scene filmed, high fives all around and 2 months later I watch the DVD commentary of the movie (yet another direct to DVD for our man KP) where Danny talks about KP’s comic genius and how he adlibbed many parts of the movie. KP chimes in, saying he just went with that scene where he is supposed to die milking a donkey, and mutters the best line of the movie “It’s hard out there for a pimp” to a classical sarod score.
or some such…
It’s hard out there for a pimp.
Kal Penn is a shame to UCLA’s theater, film and television school. You don’t go to one of the best programs in the country, get hooked up with a shitload of connections (which he must have missed out on, or something…), most of who (by the way) are young desi PR execs, and make flop films.
Once, Kal came to Sproul Hall to show us younguns his “Where’s the Party Yaar?” and then complained about how the Diaspora doesn’t support the rising desi actor by financing projects and hence creating better roles. I think Kal’s predicament is that he is neither a good actor (as in can’t make the connections necessary to succeed in the industry) nor a good businessman (can’t figure out a dollar from his ass hitting the ground).
Kal, buddy, you’re Gujju. Why don’t you hit up your community and make deals with them? Where are your networking skills? Why don’t you take control of your own destiny, boy?
And Kal Penn has an ugly nose. All honky and stuff, lol!
I see people are drinking the haterade in large gulps.
and don’t forget Tom Hanks in “Bachelor Party” – the American Pie and Van Wilder of its time…
In NBC’s “Heroes,” Senil Ramamurthy plays a geneticist, and he is sexy.
Have a nice day.
I think Sahej was asking about “real” doctors… 😉
Abhi, you just can’t handle that I have a nose fetish… 😛
Isn’t it our duty as Desi’s to go see the movie and increase Kal’s awareness. Our folks are slowly gaining presence in hollywood, some in non-stereotypical roles, shouldn’t we support the movie regardless? Who here really expected ‘Rise of Taj’ to be the next academy winner for best acting?
Don’t men to get racial, but when Denzel or Will Smith make a movie, they’re certain all (well most) blacks would go see it. Some are fans and some show at theaters for support.
“Boat Trip”, the only other movie by Mort Nathan (the director of Rise of Taj), has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 7%. So, it’s the fault of the director most likely…the basic plot and the actors for Rise of Taj were alright.
I know, I just wanted to say he’s sexy 😀 I think Sahej also meant actual “medical shows,” as opposed to shows about people with superpowers.
This is such a shame, especially since I think Naveen Andrews is gross. Lost counts as sci-fi?
Kinda psyched about the Uncle Jes–minder (sooo much more creative than Brangelina, no?) relationship on ER though. It’s the only reason I watch.
EEwww. Is that really happening right now on ER? I’m grossed out.
OK, either I have a terribly filthy mind and no one else is even noticing or I just don’t know when to shut up.
bada – big land – dick (in the parlance of the street) if this spelling is accepted. abad – common suffix to mean ‘city’. literally, a populated place, I think.
So, it’s ‘city of big dicks’. OK, excuse me while I go and kill myself because I suspect none of you good people even thought of this interpretation and I…that’s the only thing I could think of.
To the contrary, you have provided an entirely new interpretation to the title ‘The Rise of Raj … ‘ 😉
At the risk of being labeled a pervert, let me point out that abad has two meaning in Urdu, based on how it is pronounced. One is ‘forever/eternal’, and the other is ‘flourishing’.
I wouldn’t kick him out of bed. I think Kalpen is cute. And while I carry an entirely-too-charitable torch for Malayalee boys, I’d take Jimi over Naveen any day.
For that (and the torch you carry for engineers) we are very grateful :). The check is in the mail.
While the Jewish representation is high, this does not immediately equate the opportunity of a nonwhite and a midwestern white. A nonwhite who does succeed in entertainment whether it be behind or in front of the camera is immediately branded a racist if he or she insists on having nonwhite crew, stunt doubles etc.. The only person to do it to date, Spike Lee. And he’s not branded a “reverse racist” right?
In the movie Romeo Must Die, a white stunt woman did a 50 ft descender fall for a black character. [link] The reverse would never occur. There are about 2-3 black stuntwomen working.
I can go on and on about countless times where white actors played non white characters. Just talking about desi characters: Fisher Stevens as Ben Jhaveri, in Short Circuit, Alec Guiness as Godbole in Passage to India, Ben Kingsley (although, he’s half Indian) as Gandhi come to mind. I’d like to know if the reverse ever occurred.
To say that Hollywood elite is heavily bicoastal and elite is true, to conclude that implies a non white and a midwestern white is on equal footing is absolutely not.
kal penn interview
“When I was first approached to do the sequel, I initially said no…”
back to the vs fashion show… pc out
Oh yes it is!
hahaaaa, i’m sure thats pissing the anti-miscengenators off big time
It could’ve been worse…he could’ve produced “Soul Plane 2.”
Donkey milking? eww to you.
It sounds like a rip off of the scene from “Freddy Got Fingered” where he “milks the horse” or something of the sort. (I watched that scene in front of my female cousins and I was the only one crying from laughter..damn prudes)
You really have an overactive imagination dabba. If you aren’t claiming to be a doctor or a Nasa scientist like these other folks, Bollywood beckons you.
Oh yes it is!
Huh? Wasn’t her character married? [Silly me]
Just saw it, shades of Harry Potter. Everyone’s mispronouncing Badalandabad throughout, of course. I thought Taj became American in self-defense after being chucked out of Fox & Hounds. Except for the megahung dog, Balzac, it’s too polite on its face to be funny. Anyhow, I hope Kurma and sakshi will re-educate the public when the DVD comes out…there must have been some points made.