Before Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland, Blue Mountain State was a thing – a considerably big thing. I admit, I had no idea. To my understanding: Blue Mountain State was a television show that aired on the Spike Network for three seasons. When the prospects of a film spin-off were mentioned via Kickstarter, 23,999 fans swarmed the campaign and raised $1,911,827. Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland deals gratitude towards its fan base like a belligerent giant doing keg stands and whipping everything with its penis – fans will love it.
Lev Spiro’s comedy is an ode to classic frat films (namely National Lampoon’s Animal House), and is essentially a bombastic reunion with the Blue Mountain State football team as they try and save their beloved Goat House. When the school’s Dean puts the house up for auction, the boys turn to a rich-and-famous graduate (Thad played by producer/co-writer Alan Ritchson) with deep pockets. However, Thad is only interested if his former teammates can throw him an epic party.
As an outsider to Blue Mountain State’s bawdy behaviour, I had a hard time accepting the movie. Everyone making the film knows the project is dumb, but I found Lev Spiro’s film to be stupid – there’s a difference. Dumb is when brain-dead students band together to meet unobtainable goals only to pull off their mission in haphazard ways. Stupid is when I start questioning how the football team afforded to throw a party with theme park rides, masterful lighting, a mojito hot tub, wide varieties of drugs, a rig that makes it snow cocaine, and yet these guys can’t scratch up the dough to buy their house. Even if these guys were using Thad’s chequebook, a late twist adds more holes to this story.
Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland is a grossly narcissistic excuse for Ritchson and the other filmmakers to act as vulgar as possible, and get as many girls to show their anatomy to the camera. There’s stretches of time dedicated to drinking, smoking, snorting, and dancing. Meanwhile, the viewer feels like the designated driver at an endless binge fest.
It’s no spoiler to reveal the party is set up within minutes. Screenwriters Eric Falconer, the mononymous Romanski, and Ritchson set up their movie this way to allow unsupervised fun to run rampant without limits. However, all three writers miss a prime plot. It would’ve been more interesting to see these boneheads raise the money, leaving the party as a reward for succeeding. It could’ve been satire about the TV show’s demise and its revival through fundraising. That would’ve been clever. However, the film sacrifices potential for three B’s: beer, boobs, and blow.
I commend Blue Mountain State: The Rise of Thadland for driving their insanity into a new realm of crazy (Thadland eventually becomes Trainspotting-ville), but even then the movie paints itself into a corner and doesn’t know an exit strategy towards a satisfying finish.
Blue Mountain State may find life through VOD since this film basically plays out like a straight-to-video American Pie flick. Fans may eventually give up on this turgid franchise, but immature teenagers are forever.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie