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Case Number 24389

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The Newest Pledge

Lionsgate // 2012 // 85 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 24th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a big fan of Pledge. His oak furniture looks as good as the day he built it with his bare hands.

The Charge

His GPA is greater than his age.

Opening Statement

Good lord this looks terrible. Is there any chance it's mildly watchable?

Facts of the Case

The Omegas are one of the top Greek powers on the Hamilton University campus. Having chaired the frat council for decades and boasting the best of the best students as members (including a recent NFL draft pick), the Omegas seem set to cruise to another landslide council election. Until a baby is left on their doorstep and the frat boys' normally care-free life of drinking and snogging is turned upside down.

The Evidence

That's really the plot. Some dopey frat guys find a baby and instead of immediately contacting DCFS, decide to raise it on their own.

Now, before you start thinking the same things I was—like being subjected to scenes of an infant playing beer pong—allow to me to assuage your fears: writer/director Jason Michael Brescia doesn't go there. In fact, unlike what most frat comedies traffic in, The Newest Pledge is tame, free of debauchery, and…dare I say…heartfelt.

Yes, dare away. Because of this surprisingly sentimental curveball, I found myself moderately enjoying the film. Though it ran out of steam by the end, squandering some of its substance on an anticlimactic debate sequence, I was semi-flabbergasted by The Newest Pledge just flirting with being something more than another excruciating "look at the funny drunk frat guys farting at each other" National Lampoon also-ran.

The Omega guys are fairly nondescript, but none of them are annoying and actually come across as quite likable in the film's fleeting moments. There's a party and some beer drinking goes on and Kevin Nash ogles a blonde woman's cleavage, but beyond that, The Newest Pledge barely makes its R-rating.

That said, none of it makes any sense. Why these dopes keep the baby, and why adults in the immediate vicinity don't step in, defies all manner of Hollywood logic. At the very least you'd think the maternal instinct of a female party-goer would kick in and realize "Wow, these guys are putting this helpless baby into serious jeopardy!"

Straightforward DVD: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 surround, director/cast commentary, and deleted scenes.

Closing Statement

The Newest Pledge didn't irritate or insult me, and for that I'm grateful.

The Verdict

Not great, but Not Guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 80
Acting: 75
Story: 70
Judgment: 72

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (CC)
• Spanish
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated R
• Comedy

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Featurette


• IMDb

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