The 2013 short film, directed by James Cappadoro and written by Frank De Rosa. The Ruckland University Men’s Rugby team is comprised of an “Animal House” quality group of hooligans. Their recent success on the field has been overshadowed by the school’s Athletic Director who plans on using the team’s funds for his own endeavors. It is up to the boys to band together as a team to stop him from dissolving their program and ruining their chance at winning a league championship.From hardships, sprouts heroes. This lovable group of underdogs must look beyond the fun and games they have had in college and realize that they have found something much more than a rugby team, they found a family. Starring: Lars Lee, Alexandra Bartley, Trevor Williams, Timothy J. Cox, Mara Dresner, Andrew Gill, A.J. Massaro, Samuel Alex Baker, Christian Plunkett, Johnson Chu and Marc Schwartz.
When the phrase Animal House is included in the description of the film, you know before watching exactly what you’re in for. Immediately you’re thrown into a testosterone fuelled environment, from the body language, costume and of course the narrative provided by Lars Lee as Glen. From there you’re thrust into the world of the college party, with the usual drinking, smoking and all the typical behaviour and humour that follows. From this point it’s really a question of where your sense of humour lies, this one in particular is definitely leaning heavily towards the male audience so isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It does however fall right into place with films like Old School, Road Trip or 21 & Over for a more recent example; it’s fairly well worn territory.
As we’re introduced to who will become the enemy of the rugby team, athletic director Richard Dickerman (Timothy J. Cox), the name may be a little on the nose but this is where things get more interesting, adding in someone for the characters to spar against creates a funnier dialogue, especially given how little Dickerman cares for the team. Unfortunately that banter is short lived as the scene ends quite quickly but moves on to its best scene, with Johnson Chu’s Fast Eddy providing some of the funniest lines the film has to offer. It’s a shame the film doesn’t have a stronger team feel or that more time isn’t spent creating a rivalry between the underdogs and the administration trying to deny them they’re right to play. It isn’t helped by lead Trevor Williams as Ray trying much to hard to play the role of tough guy who never stops partying, it’s hard to believe and it’s also difficult to imagine him as a rugby player, being a very skinny guy.
Overall the film is a bit of a mixed bag, it starts off strong with the classic style of 80s college film, mixed with something more modern and the comedy comes out a little stronger as we reach the middle but then things don’t really pick up from there. It feels a missed opportunity to not have created a stronger rivalry to give it some extra energy and more reason to root for the guys, rather than opting for the something that feels extremely familiar. Despite that, you can see what the film was going for and it does achieve that, a homage to the college party films that helped inspire it.
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