Saturday, 26 May 2012

American Reunion (2012)

Group picture of the cast. Alyson Hannigan has a baby bottle in hand. The pie has only a small slice left.The last slice of the pie?

Thirteen years after graduating high school, Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs), Chris "Oz" Ostreicher (Chris Klein), Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), and Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) have moved on with adult life and responsibilities. Jim is married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and they have a two-year-old son. Oz is an NFL sportscaster living in Los Angeles with his supermodel girlfriend Mia (Katrina Bowden). Kevin is married to Ellie and works from home as an architect. Finch has supposedly gone missing, and Stifler works as a temp at an investment firm. They all reunite in East Great Falls when a Class of 1999 reunion is announced.




Has it really been 13 years since American Pie was released? It's hard to believe that it's been so long since we first visited East Great Falls and met these characters.

The American Pie franchise has pretty much been just the tip of the raunchy teen comedy genre, but the difference between these films and your typical teen comedy is that we actually care about the characters here. It may be 13 years since we first met these characters, but like with real life, some things never change. Jim's as hapless as ever, Stifler's still a moron and Finch still thinks far too much of himself. Things may get a bit cartoonish and over the top, but their rapport with one another makes them feel like real friends who you can empathize with.

Much like The Avengers, everyone gets a decent amount of screentime and are each given something to do, especially when compared to the last film, where Kevin barely did anything and Oz wasn't even in it at all.

Eugene Levy has played his role to perfection in the previous trilogy, and that does not change here, as he gets the best material, and not just in terms of laughs. Noah is now a widower, and this is wisely not glossed over, managing to give way to a more vulnerable side of the character. But this does not stop the character from being any less hilarious, as he still manages to provide some of the best laughs, and is responsible for one of the films funniest scenes.


The film doesn't really do anything new with these characters, which makes parts of the film feel like a retread of previous films, and ends up causing the whole thing to become predictable. Despite this, the jokes still work and will manage to elicit a smile at least.

Pretty much all of the new characters that are introduced are weakly written. Oz's girlfriend, Mia, has enough of an unlikable side to her that you find it predictable where her story will go, and Heather's boyfriend, Ron, is very bland. Kara is no more than a plot device who (somehow) has the hots for Jim, while her boyfriend, AJ, is the typical douchebag jock archetype that you cannot stand. Prateek, Stifler's boss, is a one-note typical nightmare boss who gets off on belittling Stifler and Selena, Michelle's friend from Band Camp, seems to be there just so Michelle has someone else to talk to and to make sure everyone gets paired up.

Even though I found that the middle portion of the film managed to drag on a bit, especially the whole scenario with Jim putting the unconscious Kara back into her room, I found that the whole final act which took place at the Reunion more than made up for the dragged out middle.

To those of you who are fans of the first film, there are a large number of in-jokes and call backs to the 1999 hit. There are cameos from just about everyone, from The Shermanator to Nadia. But the good thing about this film is that, despite all the callbacks and in-jokes about the first film, it never feels overwhelming and impenetrable for anybody who is new to the franchise.

If you were a fan of the original trilogy, the American Reunion is definitely worth a watch, and rest assured, it's miles better than any of the spin-off films. If you're new to the franchise, don't be afraid to give this film a go. At the end, they raise a point of doing this more often, and I very much agree with them. Hopefully see you in a few years, guys.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I haven't seen any of them, and I don't think I will in the future, at least not right now. But good review still Rodders.

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