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General Musings, Reviews

American Reunion Review

It has been around 13 years since ‘American Pie’ graced our screens with a young Jason Biggs making love to a warm apple pie and we laughed. 11 years since ‘American Pie 2’ had Sean William Scott passionately shaking a lesbian artefact whilst running down stairs and we laughed harder, and 9 years since ‘American Pie: The Wedding’ had only half the cast and we laughed not so much. Now in 2012 we have ‘American Reunion’ with the main cast of the first two back, united and getting into the same old shenanigans as they were before….sort of. Does the latest chapter in the lives of Jim, Kev, Oz, Finch and Stifler reignite franchise doomed to DVD obscurity? Read on…

‘American Reunion’ follows the main gang coming back to East Great Falls for the 13th high school reunion and catching up with one another whilst trying to stay out of the trouble and exploits that plagued them as horny teenagers looking to loose their virginity. Problem with that is, not everybody has grown up, not everybody is happy and of course the film is part of the ‘American Pie’ franchise so we know not everything will go smoothly.

For ‘American Reunion’ there is no one real story behind the film, each character has their own troubles which are brought to the forefront during the weekend before the reunion as the guys meet up to relax and have fun. These problems do not really get fixed but simply fix themselves following a series of events and consequences that puts friendship and relationships in jeopardy but ultimately rectify themselves. I know its not all about the story when it comes to this franchise but each entry had a primary aim that the characters and story revolved around, one was about loosing their virginity, two was growing up, three was the wedding and stifler still growing up, now four is just an excuse to put all the people back together on the big screen for money and laughs. The problem is the film treats the group as individuals and not as a collective which results in time being unevenly split between them, yes they are adults with their own lives but it is a reunion after all.
The boys are back in town!
As for the comedy it is still pretty funny and holds its own but refuses to go all out crude and over the top which many other comedies try to do these days. Be warned there are still breasts and penises flapping around throughout but with the maturity of the characters comes a little more maturity in the comedy, this both affects the film good and bad. The good is that as an adult watching the reunion I have already seen the immature actions and shenanigans of these characters when I was in school so I do not necessarily want to see the same thing again and thankfully we are given a more mature comedy that holds its american pie edge, the bad is it results in a lack of laugh out loud moments that the first two had in abundance. You can’t please everybody but the comedy of the film was suited to the nature of it and it works, but those who like Stifler have not grown up and demand sweaty balls on the big screen even at 40 years of age will be disappointed. Speaking of Stifler…
A big issue for many people with entry 3 was there was too much Stifler, I personally did not mind as he is a funny character that made the first two stand out alongside Jim. However what the third film did was make Stifler grow up, now all of a sudden in reunion he has regressed into the same immature character taking on the same story arc, its incredibly annoying. Though Stifler is funny when he is immature is it that hard to create comedy for the character as a more mature character? Lazy writing on the behalf of the scribes. However to give the character his dues, Stifler is funny when on screen and is essentially the architect of most of the films comedy alongside Jim once again. 
American Reunion
Stifler returns as the Stifmeister
At the end of the day ‘American Reunion’ was not only a return for the characters but a reunion for us the audience with these characters we have grown up with and watched over the years. Is it a happy reunion? for the most part yes, its a likeable film with already likeable characters that does not unnecessarily go over the top. Some fun is to be had exploring the comedy in the problems that exist with these characters as adults (opening sequence) but most of the comedy comes from childish stunts and acts that would be more suited to the younger versions of these characters. More could have been done to find the funny side of their older selves but due to what can only be sloppy script writing we are treated to jokes and routines that feel like they were cut from the previous three films. If you are a fan of the American Pie series then I recommend watching it as it is fun having a cinematic reunion with these characters on screen, but do not expect too much in the form of outrageous laughs or evolved characters as there is little of both. A decent and enjoyable comedy film that stays within its comfort zone that will be both its success and downfalls.

About Snooty Usher Dan

Favourite Film: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Worst Film: The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) Guilty Pleasure: Step Up 2: The Streets (The dancing is awesome ok.....)


One thought on “American Reunion Review

  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 Dan. I liked it a lot more than the previous two sequels though, which may not be saying too much but still says something.


    Posted by Dan O. | May 15, 2012, 04:24

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