For every genre, there must be a cautionary tale to prove that not films are created equal. "College" is a movie that will not only prove that, but also make you hate college, fraternities and guys named Verne.
In a blatant kick in the groin to films like "Animal House" and "Superbad," "College" stars Drake Bell as Kevin, a high school senior freshly dumped by his girlfriend for being too dull. To prove he can have fun, he takes his dorky friend Morris (Kevin Covais) and his fat, obnoxious friend Carter (Andrew Caldwell) to a college orientation, which screams hot college girls and the foundation for future DUIs.
Once they arrive, they find out their living arrangements have been commandeered by a roommate with love for blow up dolls and animals. Good times. They're soon offered to room at a frat house about to lose their charter (where have I heard that before) and are subjected to torture that makes you want to get a refund and call Amnesty International. From taking shots off a man hairy crackage to cleaning up poop that should have arms attached, the three amigos wince and bear it for fear of being exposed to the college girls they've taken a liking to.
To her credit, debut director Deb Hagan keeps things going at a very nice pace, but there's no extra credit for this class. Hagan hasn't quite grasped that low budget doesn't have to mean low talent/low entertainment/low humor. Then again, writers Dan Callahan and Adam Ellison's script didn't give her much to work with. It's basically a gross out humor attempt...uh without the humor. Unless the opportunity to see former American Idol Covais drop a couple F-bombs or the boys being chased by angry pigs in their undies. Nope, still not funny.
Drake Bell (Superhero movie) definitely has the looks to be the next McDreamy with comedy timing honed from being on Nickelodeon, but there's a difference between paying the rent and paying your dues. Nick Zano as Teague, the head of the Frat, could use that advice too, but his next film is "Beverly Hills Chihuahua"...nuff said. Verne Troyer gets a pass, because you'd rather see him embarrass himself in this than say...in a sexy tape.
What makes "College" truly get a failing grade is that the worse the hazing, the more the "victims" come back. Our heroes go back to the Frat torturers so often that you expect them to develop Stockholm syndrome. To top it off, Carter is so unlikable that you expect him to pull a swerve and join the Fratjerks and torture his friends. The only thing I learned from this "College" is that some people never learn...and to be thankful that theaters do give refunds.
Billy Tatum gives "College" 1 and a half (out of 5) stars
"College" MPAA rating: College." MPAA rating: R for pervasive crude and sexual content, nudity, language, drug and alcohol abuse. Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes.