American Reunion, 2012.
Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.
Starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Seann William Scott, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge and John Cho.
The American Pie gang return to East Great Falls, Michigan for one long-overdue weekend to celebrate their high school reunion.
Over the last thirteen years we’ve had six American Pie movies – three theatrical releases and three straight to DVD sequels. Now we have a fourth theatrical movie and it reunites everyone from the original three. How well does American Reunion hold up compared to the others?
In American Reunion the gang from East Great Falls, Michigan are coming back for their 13th high school reunion. It’s been years since most of them have seen each other. After Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) got married everyone seemed to move on. They’ve all grown up which means having real jobs, getting married and having kids. Not a lot of time for partying and having fun. When everyone reunites they plan on doing things like they did when they were younger. So you know what that means; parties, gross out humor and a little bit of heart.
I look at all the American Pie movies, at least the theatrical ones, the same way. None of them are particularly good movies and they tend to hit all the same beats that the previous ones did. As long as they make me laugh and don’t go overboard with the gross out stuff then I usually have a good time with them. Watching this movie, it was no different.
One problem I had with this is that there is just way too much going on. Every character has their own little side story and the majority of them just aren’t needed. A particular story I didn’t like at all was one with the girl that Jim used to babysit. The scenes involved with her just aren’t very funny or necessary. I understand they wanted to bring back everybody but they really didn’t need to. Some of the characters who come back get the shaft and only get small under-a-minute scenes. So what was the point in even bringing them back? Clearly nobody in this movie had anything else to do so why not come back for a fourth.
The best parts of this movie definitely come from Seann William Scott as Stifler and Eugene Levy as Jim’s dad. From the first movie onward they have always been my two favorite characters. Eugene Levy has always been hilarious as the awkward dad who just doesn’t stop talking when it comes to explaining sex. They finally give his character more of a story this time around and I’m glad they did because it worked out for the better. I’ll admit that Stifler did get a little annoying in American Wedding but they tone him down, only slightly, here and he provided the majority of the laughs for me. This is the role that Scott will always be most known for and he makes the best of it.
Everyone else in the cast is really hit or miss. Acting-wise nobody gives a particularly good performance, but I guess that’s understood in these movies. Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan seem like they’re just going through the motions here. Biggs does provide a few laughs but Hannigan doesn’t get to do much of anything. Thomas Ian Nicholas and Chris Klein are without a doubt the worst in the bunch, especially Klein. Eddie Kaye Thomas isn’t too bad here but his character really gets pushed in the background for most of the movie. Tara Reid and Mena Suvari get a decent amount of screen time but neither does much with it. The rest who return from the other movies such as Nadia, Jessica, Stifler’s mom, and the Sherminator, only pop up every so often and don’t do much of anything, although John Cho gets a few laughs as one of the MILF guys.
All in all, American Reunion does provide a good few laughs, plenty of gross out humor and even a little bit of heart. If you enjoyed the first three American Pie movies you should enjoy this one too.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★