Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2006 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 26th, 2007
Paris Hilton is to movies what the Enola Gay was to mainland Japan. Actually, you can swap out "movies" with pretty much any other noun you can think of: "entertainment," "life on planet Earth," cantaloupes," they all work.
Paris Hilton plays -- get this -- Paris Hilton. Actually, the character's name is Victoria English, but she's shallow, slutty and spoiled, so yeah, Pledge This is more a biopic than a comedy. It's also not a comedy because it's not funny, but more on that below the break.
South Beach University has welcomed its incoming crop of freshmen, among them Gloria (Paula Garces) and Kristen (Sarah Carter), both eager to jump into the college experience. Gloria befriends an eclectic group of fellow freshmen, including horny housewife Kathy (Kerri Kenney, Reno 911). Kristen, meanwhile, ingratiates herself with the Gamma Gamma sorority, under the leadership of Victoria English. After a plumbing accident leaves the freshmen homeless, Gloria and her crew apply to Gamma Gamma and Victoria, sensing a chance to earn favor with FHM magazine for having a diverse sorority (yeah, I don't understand either), brings them on board -- but not before humiliating and degrading the girls. So it's the freshmen versus the most popular girl on campus, and it won't end until someone learns a valuable lesson and pointless, naked breasts make an appearance.
What a wretched waste of time this movie is. The National Lampoon brand has officially become synonymous with "stupid crap," as we are forced to endure release after release of half-baked, unfunny college sex comedies that are neither sexy nor funny. This one's even worse than others before it because we, the audience, are forced to look at Paris Hilton for 91 minutes. Now I know it's not necessarily edgy to rip on Paris Hilton, but she's a target of derision for good reason: the girl is talent-free and annoying.
And, kids, let me tell you something: she has rarely been more annoying as she is in this movie. Pledge This should have been re-titled Ninety Minutes of Shamelessly Stroking Paris Hilton's Ego. Yeah she's technically the "villain" of the film, but it's a glamorous villain who everyone loves and fawns over and talks about how hot she is and how much they want to be like her and blah blah blah gag. It really is unwatchable at times, the level of onscreen stiletto-heel-licking. Add to that, her character delivers a cringe-worthy "what-I-learned" monologue in the final 30 seconds of the film that suddenly makes her the heroine.
Setting aside the stomach-churning horror that is Paris Hilton, you're still left with a wholly pathetic enterprise in Pledge This. The plot is boiler-plate "assorted-rejects-stand-up-for-themesleves-and-get-back-at-the-ruling-elite" claptrap so common in the genre, just executed without a subatomic particle of wit. Pledge This is not remotely funny and tries to make up for its dearth of laughs with tired gross-out humor (wow, a geyser of poop from a broken drain pipe!) Gags never work, and are so ridiculous -- the guy receiving fellatio from a terrier for example -- their contrivance smells of sophomoric desperation. And Kerri Kenney, so funny in Reno 911, is utterly wasted here, aping Amy Sidaris's scummy, middle-aged student shtick with far lesser success.
Finally, the DVD makes a point of noting this release is the unrated "Naughty Version," and yes, you will see lots of breasts. The nudity is gratuitous and serves no purpose other than earning the film its "sex comedy" tag; actually, there might actually be more exposed nipples than mildly amusing jokes in this whole insipid affair.
The film looks fine, though the pastel color choices tend to be a bit overwhelming. The technical specs: 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 5.1 Dolby Digital. Trailers and an eight-minute making-of featurette are it for bonus materials.
Stop. Please stop.
Guilty of wanting to kill my brain in the third degree.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Making-of Featurette