American Reunion (Universal)
Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking.
Starring Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, John Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, Natasha Lyonne.
Written by Hayden Schlossberg, Adam Herz and Jon Hurwitz.
Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.
American Pie was a harbinger of teen decadence when it was released 13 years ago. It seems just about everyone in their late 20s knows what "band camp," "MILF" and "Stifler's mom" means. Unfortunately, the people who produced the 1999 hit just can't seem to keep from offering another slice of American Pie through several sequels and direct-to-video releases that attempt to push the envelope of taste and raunchy behavior. Proving that you never have to grow up, the latest version of the franchise opens this weekend in the form of American Reunion.
Jason Biggs returns as Jim, the libidinous boy who married his sweetheart and high school band nerd Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) in the last Pie sequel (American Wedding). Also returning are Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin, Chris Klein as Ox, Eddie Kaye Thomas as Finch and, of course, Seann William Scott as partymeister Steve Stifler. Along with fellas, Tara Reid reprises her role as Kevin's former flame Vicky, while Mena Suvari returns as Ox's former girlfriend Heather. As usual, Eugene Levy plays Jim's dad, while Jennifer Coolidge reprises her role as the amorous mother of all MILFs: Stifler's mom.
The story picks up as Jim and Michelle are having a little marital difficulty after the birth of their son. At the same time, Kevin, Jim and the gang are planning to attend the 13-year high school reunion (because who doesn't hold their 13-year high school anniversary in such high regard - or have them at all?) with the rest of the gang. Ox is a successful sportscaster dating a supermodel, Kevin is happily married to a woman with very feminine tastes in TV shows, and Finch is a world-traveler with Zen views on life. Stifler is a whipped office temp; still hanging on to his crude ways. Heather is a successful doctor dating a jerk fellow doctor and Vick is - well...Vicky.
As the group meets up in their home town, Stifler crashes the party and causes all sorts of trouble among the contemporary teens of the area. Jim finds himself fighting off the advances of his dad's 18-year-old hottie neighbor, while Kevin and Vicky and Ox and Heather seem bound to rekindle their old respective romances.
As the gang works through their various relationship, they must also learn to embrace their adulthood while clinging to the good parts of their youth. Jim's dad and Stifler's mom also form a natural union, while Stifler is presented with a rare opportunity for revenge.
American Reunion doesn't offer anything newer than all the other gags seen in previous installments. Stifler is still crude, foul-mouthed and pathetic. Jim is a sexual klutz, Finch is mysterious, Ox is a big lovable oaf, Jim's dad is full of men's health wisdom, Stifler's mom is a sexpot....in other words, nothing has changed and no one in the "American" franchise ever will.
The problem is...the crude nature of the jokes and sappy-sweet relationships weren't that interesting to begin with, and American Reunion proves you can make it all worse.
The only saving grace to American Reunion (and all the other Pie films) is Eugene Levy, who character offers the kind of frank, sage advice most teens should know about their bodies and healthy relationships with the opposite sex. The trouble is, all that wisdom is stuck in the middle of an endless string of obscene humor, lame attempts at relationship drama and failed sight gags.
The American Pie franchise might be a new generation's version of Porky's, but it's beginning to feel like it ran its course three movies ago.
The Pie has gone stale. Give it up, already.