Running Time: 113 minutes
Starring: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Eugene Levy, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas
Directed By: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Five guys head home after years apart to attend their high school reunion and to have one last party.
I like films that come back to us after long hiatuses. The American Pie series has been gone for 9 long years and finally it is here for a conclusion. They are a little older, they are a little more mature, but most importantly they have a little comedy left in the tank. American Reunion is the story of Jim, Oz, Finch, Kevin, and Stifler. The five friends have drifted apart over the years and are now back where they grew up for their high school reunion. They have a little more partying to do together for old time sake.
This movie didn’t do as well as it should have at the box office. A pretty funny franchise lost most of its street cred by releasing a multitude of straight to DVD crap. I say don’t judge this film by its faux American Pie predecessors. The film starts off and quickly it is apparent they are using the same formula from the first movie (American Pie). They give almost equal screen time to the five main character's storylines. I preferred it when they focus more on Stifler (like in American Pie 2, American Wedding) but I digress. The film is a great way to close out a popular movie franchise. It combines a little bit of nostalgia with a healthy amount of outrageous situations that this series is known for. After seeing the group of guys in varying degrees of adulthood (Married, Working, Parenting, etc.) the movie gets underway. The 5 guys all meet up in their hometown for their high school reunion. It is like seeing a family member after a really long time apart. The old jokes, and stories, along with the familiarity are quickly established like no time has passed at all. The jokes start and it is clear this film is made for its tried and tested audience. It isn’t trying to win over any new fans with its familiar teen skater music and same comedic formula. (Which I am okay with)
The acting had its good, bad, and indifferent. Starting with the good was the loveable but permanent geeky character Jim. He is played again by the actor Jason Biggs and I feel he never gets enough credit. He gets into his usual shenanigans and doesn’t disappoint. I could have done without a disturbing full frontal shot, but besides that he carried himself well when he was the centre of attention. A scene where he attracts the attention of an underage female leads to plenty of hilarious moments you won’t want to miss. The next good character, let me correct that great character was the iconic Stifler played by Seann William Scott. He is not as good as he has been in the past but still is miles ahead of everyone else in this film. He has done it all already in this franchise. He has drank beer with sperm in it, been peed on, ate dog crap, so really there is no more limits for him to push. He is still an awesome character and does have an interesting scene involving a cooler.
The indifferent are Finch played by Eddie Kaye Thomas, Oz played by Chris Klein, and Heather played by Mena Suvari. They really do nothing with their respective roles to make them good or bad. They are mostly time fillers.
The bad characters are Kevin played by Thomas Ian Nicholas and Vicky played by Tara Reid. Not only do they offer nothing comically they also deliver their lines like reading from cue cards it was appalling. Jim’s dad played by Eugene Levy was also way below par. His role is so tired and played out it is hard to watch. On a side note Alyson Hannigan was not used remotely enough so it is hard to critique her.
At times this film seems to be trying too hard to fit in all the original characters in (from the first film.) Because of this the story lacks consistency and focus. Seeing the guys back together, drinking heavily and reminiscing make it worthwhile though. Stifler is a working man? Jim is a dad? Oz is a celebrity? It is hard to believe so much time has passed. The characters struggle to prove they are still young and in that struggle this movie works. When the film comes to and end I realized it was not as good as the first three but I was still entertained.
Directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are most known for their work on Harold and Kumar. I was hoping that their stupid humor didn’t permeate over from that awful franchise. While at times this movie was dumb I felt they kept it in control and in line with the overall vision of this franchise. Bringing back all the key players was genius (Both leads and supporting roles) and the jokes were in no short supply. Although this franchise is pretty saturated they ended it on a high note so they should be proud.
I give this movie a recommendation especially to people who grew up watching the original 3.
T Factor + If you liked the first three American Pie films this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you haven’t seen the first three American Pie films this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Harold and Kumar, Road Trip