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MOVIE REVIEW

Derivative 'College' flunks comedy test

September 01, 2008|Gary Goldstein | Special to The Times

Take equal parts "Superbad," "Animal House" and "Risky Business"; extract the wit, charm and originality; mix in as much beer, human excrement and upchuck as logistically possible; sprinkle liberally with nudity, homophobia and sexism; and you'll have the recipe for "College," a tedious, by-the-numbers raunch-fest that exists strictly because it can.

Directed by Deb Hagan from Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison's grab-bag script, the movie also proves an unfortunate big-screen choice for appealing TV star Drake Bell (Nickelodeon's "Drake & Josh"), who plays Kevin, a buttoned-up high-schooler who takes off for a wild college weekend to shed his nice-guy image.

Along with his two outcast buds -- chunky loudmouth Carter (Andrew Caldwell) and nerdy Morris (Kevin Covais) -- Kevin winds up stuck in a hellish frat house whose merciless brothers, led by callow stud Teague (Brad Pitt look-alike Nick Zano), conspire to make the naive trio's pre-frosh visit one they'll never forget. And not in a good way.

Some low-lights: Kevin is forced to clean perhaps the grossest toilet bowl in movie history; Kevin and company land in a cartoonish gay frat party missing only the Village People; Verne Troyer urinates on some folks; and there's a lovely pig stampede. Enjoy.

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"College." MPAA rating: R for pervasive crude and sexual content, nudity, language, drug and alcohol abuse. Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes. In general release.

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