Friday, April 6, 2012

American Reunion Review

I’m not sure if doing an “American Pie” reunion movie (conveniently called “American Reunion”) was a good idea or a depressing one. The new directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, along with the producers (which include Paul and Chris Weitz, who directed the original) have managed to get back pretty much all the original cast members but I find it kind of sad that all these actors would want to come back and play roles that some of them haven’t played since the first movie in 1999. It says something about their current careers.

 There’s Jim (Jason Biggs), the well-meaning doofus who isn’t looking for trouble but finds it. He’s now married with a child to his high school sweetheart Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), you know, the “band camp” girl? Then there’s the sensitive Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) the nerd, Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) and of course the obnoxious, too afraid to grow up Steve Stifler (Sean William Scott), perhaps the most well known character of the series. In addition, Kevin’s old flame Vicky (Tara Reid), Oz’s old flame Heather (Mena Suvari), Jim’s dad (the always funny Eugene Levey) and a bunch of other minor characters that only people who watched the movie would recognize and laugh at…again.

If those characters names/descriptions don’t ring any bells than I would stop reading this review. The first “American Pie” was a decent, teenage sex comedy and quite influential, as it inspired many other movies and spoofs. The two sequels, “American Pie 2” and “American Wedding,” were average but by that point I think the whole idea of it ran a little stale. (After that there were three or so direct to DVD spin offs, but enough said about those.)

With “American Reunion” it reminds us that even after ten years since the third movie, it’s still stale. Hurwitz and Schlossberg bring back all these talented actors and do nothing with them. Jim, Kevin, Oz Finch and Stifler reunite for a high school reunion, where they (now much older) are thrown back into the same sex, drug, and masturbatory shenanigans they went through when they were teens. The picture runs on nothing but nostalgia from the earlier movies and it gets old. Not to mention the storyline is utterly predictable: The movie starts, characters are reintroduced, crazy things happen, people get mad at one another, crazy things happen, more characters are introduced, crazy things happen, more people get mad, crazy things happen…and then there is plenty of kissing and making up.

There are a few funny gags here and there (most of which I can’t talk about), the awkward moments between Jim and his dad always give me a chuckle, and it’s funny when certain characters are reintroduced, such as the MILF guys (if you don’t understand, then you should have stopped reading a couple paragraphs ago). The movie is never unwatchable; the actors do their best (although the performances also get old after a while). It’s dirty enough to somewhat satisfy its young male demographic but a lot of the humor comes from esoteric references to the other movies that only die-hard fans will appreciate.

 I think the main problem with “American Reunion” is that “American Pie” isn’t relevant any more. Look, “American Pie” was a good little movie but in this age of comedies like “The Hangover,” making a fourth movie isn’t necessary. Much like Steve Stifler, “American Reunion” is stuck in the past.


1 comment:

  1. The original gang is back and still have the comedic timing they did 13 years ago, which is always fun no matter what. There isn’t anything new or special about this entry into the series but for anyone who wants some nice 1999 nostalgia, then this is the perfect fit. Good review Drew. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the last two “main” sequels this series has had.