Omega is the leading fraternity at Hamilton University. Looked up to and adored by the entire campus, including alumni and local townsfolk, the Omegas are everything the other fraternities want to be. Well, except for nerdy, British Rico (Joseph Booton) and the Phi Tau Taus. Sick of the Omegas dominance on the Greek Council, Rico, who looks like Thomas Dolby fresh from the “She Blinded Me With Science” video, plans to finally unseat the reigning Omegas.
Rico’s opportunity may finally be at hand, as the somewhat uncomplicated, sheltered life of the Omegas is interrupted when someone leaves a baby (Michael Gavrielov) on the frat’s doorstep. Not knowing who the father is, the frat elects to make the baby one of their own. Hijinks ensue, as Rico tries to disrupt the Omegas at every turn and Kyle (Rob Steinhauser), the newest pledge prior to baby Kegston’s arrival, finds himself next in line as the Omega most likely to become president of the Greek council.
Follow all that? It’s really not that important, because while those plot threads are a part of Jason Michael Brescia’s The Newest Pledge, the film mostly concerns itself with the humor inherent in the different situations rather than whether they make much sense. It has moments that are funny, others that don’t hit at all and even more that are “huh?”
This is the type of film that, if you want to enjoy it, you’ve really got to suspend the disbelief quite a bit; even for college fraternity hijinks comedies, this one truly strains reality. If you’re prone to picking out plot holes, you’ll probably find yourself too busy to relax. That said, if you’re looking for a laugh here and there, or something to play on the television that doesn’t really require you to take notes to keep track of what’s going on and still enjoy it, The Newest Pledge is for you.
I mean, sure there’s a plot, but it’s largely there just as an excuse to make a ton of little jokes along the way. To the film’s credit though, for as tried-and-true as the college frat comedy formula is, the filmmakers did try something a little different by making the main bad guy the unpopular, geek frat on campus. Usually the hero frat is the “crazy, party” frat and the bad guys are the college administration or the more formal, snooty frat. Here, it’s revenge of the nerds as evil antagonist.
Taken as harmless and absurdist, I think The Newest Pledge can be pretty fun. The film has some quality cameos; I particularly liked seeing Jason Mewes dish out scholarly advice as the learned professor everyone seems to go to when they need help, and I think Andy Milonakis explaining the nuances of dolphin-speak was hilarious. And the film looks and sounds fine, nothing glaringly bad tech-wise, so it’s just a “not great, not awful” experience all around.
For the most part, with brain checked at the door, I enjoyed it. I don’t think the plot makes the most (if any) sense, most of the acting is cartoonish and the end resolution is as obvious as you’d expect, but it actually charms in its somewhat insipid way. It’s not going to win any Academy awards, but it’s also not the worst comedy I’ve ever watched in my life.
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