Steady readers of the National Lampoon may find National Lampoon's Animal House a somewhat soft-pedalled, punches-pulled parody of college campus life circa 1962. However, there's enough bite and bawdiness to provide lots of smiles and several broad guffaws.
At its best it perfectly expresses the fears and loathings of kids who came of age in the late '60's; at its worst Animal House revels in abject silliness. The hilarious highs easily compensate for the puerile lows.
Toga, toga, toga! One of the funniest, enthusiastically silly movies I've ever seen. Everything from the stupid, yet still likable main characters to the self-consciously juvenile humor, this is the definition of a comedy classic and will have you on the floor laughing almost throughout the movie. In addition, this movie is endlessly quotable. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?! Hell no!" And one of my favorites, "Seven years of college down the drain..." Oh, and the ending is particularly hilarious.
Beluschi drives the whole house in a burning jungle and he is the only one that comes out alive.
Landis is just looking for the right angle that would somehow make it all tenable and sane to look at. And for the most part of it, he succeeds. What's debilitating is the script that dries up on its own sunny rides. Gags after gags, scoot over there is another gag on the house, with so many laughs- and yes there are- the rhythm of the film is uncanny. And maybe we are to blame the director John Landis, whose failed attempts of parallel narration doesn't capture the film in one frame.
There is a lot of editing, in the sense that it moves back and forth a lot, just for the sake of the joke and maybe I'd chug it all up if the joke was any better to take a detour of this long and stressful build up. Donald Sutherland as an eccentric teacher that obviously no one respects has some of the best moments. Personally, I loved all the scenarios regarding the classroom, from the fake court trial to a poorly ordered instructions. Then, there is obviously a party sequence, like all these teenage movie does, something that no one actually gets it right and end up just shooting jokes in the dark and drunk.
The jokes are not politically correct, they may not be accepted well with the time, but the quality, the lunacy is very much energetic. And among each characteristic handed over to various people, John Belushi triumphs over all the insane ingredients sprinkled in this overstuffed and overcooked dish. From grabbing lunch blindingly to heckling in the class, there is no one as confident as him while performing a physical comedy. He mocks and body shames himself, for the laughs, that very notion has a poetic sense in his enactment of animal like instincts residing in an Animal House.