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New Line Home Cinema presents
Senior Trip (1994)

"Lets do some Van Damage!"
- Dags (Jeremy Renner)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: December 02, 2004

Stars: Matt Frewer, Tommy Chong, Valerie Mahaffey
Other Stars: Kevin McDonald, Jeremy Renner
Director: Kelly Makin

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: R for For continous teenage alcohol, and drug abuse and for crude sexual references
Run Time: 01h:31m:12s
Release Date: June 01, 2004
UPC: 794043714528
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ DBB+ D-

DVD Review

National Lampoons Senior Trip, a film that I once laughed hysterically at, I now find rather immature and all together ridiculous.

Senior Trip tries hard to recapture the lost legacy of the National Lampoon's films of the 1970s and '90s, but instead continues to push the series even further down the spiral. It's littered with leftovers of other teen comedies, including the Nerd, the Cool Guy, the Pothead, and, of course, the Slutty Girl who everyone wants but can't get.

This cast of comic fools (no, that is not a compliment) are wanting the best of their senior year in high school, and what better way to go out than have a truly amazing senior trip. This becomes something special when the kids in the detention hall are asked to write an essay on the current state of education in America, and when the letter that the brainy girl writes makes its way to the White House, the group is asked to come to Washington and tell about their opinions in person.

This, of course, leads to a two-day road trip filled with drugs (the bus driver is Tommy Chong, you know), booze, sex, and every other teen film staple known to man. The principal is Mr. Moss (Frewer), a geeky, out of it leader whom all the students despise. And the leader of the kids is Dags (Renner), a third-rate Spicolli who seems to have bright ideas when it comes to sex, drugs, and partying. I could go on about the characters but, as it turns out, they just aren't interesting enough to do so. The rest of the supermodel-thin plot involves a politician setting up the kids to humiliate the president, and well, that's it, really.

Normally, I am a fan of this type of silly comedy; in fact I often downright love them. But in the case of Senior Trip, my unabashed love for the genre takes a back seat to just simply enjoying films on their technical merits. For instance, for being a film about taking a trip, it takes nearly an hour for the group to get going on their way to Washington, and even then the actual trip itself is a bore.

Kevin McDonald's Trekkie crossing guard actually makes a few attempts to be funny, something the script never does. There is also the slightly funny, but un-PC subplot in which the fat kid who will eat anything tries to find a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Asian girl. These two slightly humorous characters and situations are like little gems amidst an entire landfill of trash.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The transfer sports a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio that is done very nicely. Colors are vibrant and show no bleeding or smearing. The transfer sports a very film-like look with no edge enhancement or artifacting.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The film is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS mixes that are bothfrighteningly average. Dialogue is crisp and clear in each mix with no dropouts, though the DTS track does offer a bit more clarity throughout. The left and right speakers do a fine job of providing back up for some of the music used in the film. Surround use is rather light with only a few instances of the separated channels.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: The original theatrical trailer is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and that is the lone extra feature.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

National Lampoons Senior Trip is a colossal waste of time. It belongs amidst the worst films of all time, maybe even at the top of the list. I am not entirely sure what I saw in the film when I watched it and laughed in high school, but I am sure that whatever it was, I was wrong.


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