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Old School /

Rated: R

Starring: Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Juliette Lewis, Ellen Pompeo 

Directed by: Todd Phillips 

Produced by: Dan Goldberg, Joe Medjuck, Todd Phillips 

Written by: Scot Armstrong, Todd Phillips, Court Crandall 

Distributor: Dreamworks


Movie Image
Movie Image
Movie Image

     It’s stupid, it’s lame, it’s conceited, it’s poignant, but it’s hilarious; it’s Old School. After laughing so many times at so many different fresh jokes, I won’t even attempt to lie to you, to maintain any sort of “critical status.” I loved this movie. The direction is literally perfect, the comically enlightening performances from each of the actors are brilliant, and the script is ingeniously written. This is probably one of the stupidest films I’ve seen in the last five years, but it’s also one of the funniest. Old School will live under the title of “it’s so bad, it’s ironically good” for days to come. It is an extravagantly colorful, but quite crude, glorious riot.

     Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) is a man, tired with life. He has just ditched his long-time girlfriend, after walking in on her and a few others, just seconds before an “orgy party.” Mitch’s friend, Beanie (Vince Vaughn), is a carelessly crazy parent. Before he is about to swear, or make another derogatory reference, he tells his child to put on his “earmuffs.” Mitch and Beanie’s long-time buddy, Frank (Will Ferrell), is a recently married fool. He, also, is very innerving for his shamelessly stirred wife to handle. After Mitch and his girlfriend seal the break-up deal, he moves into an old professor’s house, only blocks away from the local college. Parties, lights, and merchandise from “Speaker City,” Beanie’s company, ensue.

     As the three men, or more accurately put, boys, huddle around this house, they are desperately in need of a fun-filled hobby. Two of them are out-of-work, the other, the owner of an about-to-crash-and-burn business. In seek of some huge entertainment, one night, when Mitch and Frank are out, Beanie decides to surprise them. To abide by the zoning laws of college down the road, the men must use Mitch’s house, at least part-time, to house a school-related activity. So, in wake of this, he organizes a fraturnity; in which young and old alike, are created equal. When Mitch walks in the door of his new home, and sees tons of kids (and kids-at-heart) planning foolish stunts, he isn’t happy. After finally coming around, however, this futurity is quite the glorious experience. But now, these men, united, have bigger problems to face. The school isn’t nearly ready to allow their obnoxious practices (streaking, stunts, parties, etc.), as a grouping.

     The performances from Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn are stunningly outrageous. Ferrell, as seen on Saturday Night Live, outdoes the rest of the cast. Though his character is probably the least thought out of the script, each and every emotion and line of dialogue of his is made funny, by this established comedian. Wilson, taking after his brother, Luke, lays down the importance of the script. While he has some of his own cracks, Wilson is excellent at setting up the many jokes, for Ferrell to act on. Vaughn is outstanding as the always comical Beanie; a naturally funny actor for an exuberantly wild character. The entire ensemble is extravagantly rockin’! There are endless complements I can pay to the wonderful cast.

     Todd Phillips, who also made Road Trip, directs Old School into near perfection (erhm….well…close to it). Unlike most filmmakers, who usually head this type of ridiculous movie, Phillips actually spices the film up with a few camera tricks. I can appreciate this tremendously, because it makes the comedy much easier on us to watch. When the shots in a flick, similar to Old School, are jarred and over-done, it flushes the entire picture down the toilet. Phillips is steady and subtle in making this film, but still stuffs in a few treats for us, which is appreciable. This is probably the closest the movie industry will come to making another National Lampoon’s Animal House, for a while. It is both hilarious and respectable.

     Involving, entertaining, and comical to watch; Old School is the best film I have seen so far this year (which really isn’t saying much). It is beautifully highlighted by the nicely done direction by Todd Phillips, great performances by Ferrell, Wilson, and Vaughn, and excellently written jokes. The quote I posed at the beginning of this review: “It’s stupid, it’s lame, it’s conceited, it’s poignant, but it’s hilarious; it’s Old School,” still stands, and remains my best recommendation. If you’re one to like stupid and loud, but funny movies, this is one for you.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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