Thursday, April 5, 2012

American Reunion (2012)

Finally after nearly ten years of waiting, the most likely final entry in the cult "American Pie" series has arrived. Before seeing this film, I had only seen 1999's "Pie" and nothing else. However a week after attending an early screening for this film, I had caught up by viewing the whole series of films beforehand in only a matter of hours. Now with a full knowledge of the entire original trilogy, I can safely proclaim that the original "American Pie" series is the ultimate knife in late 1990s to early 2000s nostalgia for the best reasons. And thankfully, "American Reunion" ends as what should be the best way possible imagined for the series to close on both a very raunchy but still lighthearted note.

Set almost ten years after the events in "Wedding," "Reunion" opens up with quick scenes that show where the East Great Falls classmates have gone since. Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are still married, but the sexual part in their marriage has been hampered by the constant caring of their two year-old son. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) has also married, and has technically become a "housewife" due to his occupation as a stay-at-home architect. Oz (Chris Klein) has made a name for himself as a famous sportscaster in LA, but is stuck in a stale relationship with an archetypical "Los Angeles party girl" (Katrina Bowden). Meanwhile, Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has been on adventures of his own that sound about as odd as his character's personality has been throughout the trilogy. And finally, Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) is...well he's as you guessed, still retaining his reputation as the never-changing "Stifmeister" that we've seen in the past entries of the original trilogy. After years of all of them being apart, they return back to the place that kick-started this franchise thirteen years ago, and reunite for their 13-year high school reunion, whose events before the actual reunion retain the classic raunchy humor and drawn out situations that we've seen in the rest of the films in the series (not counting those direct-to-dvd versions that hardly anyone saw).

After nine years of being apart from each other, the original cast is back and just as solid as they've been in the original trilogy. Everyone manages to handle the shift in the personality of the character they've played several times, and most of them get the job done well. As usual in great "American Pie" tradition though, the two biggest scene-stealers are Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy. Stifler has always been one of biggest love-or-hate characters in comedies in the last decade, and if you're one that's been able to accept his personality of being the over-the-top manchild of the crew, then you know what you're in for when you see him in this film. Seann William Scott embodies the character in such committed fashion, and he always maintains a spot-on knack on the comedic timing. Additionally, Eugene Levy delivers his funniest performance yet as Jim's dad, who is without a doubt one of the greatest movie dads in cinema history, and that is almost entirely due to his unflinching boldness to say just about anything that's on his mind, no matter how uncomfortable or inappropriate the content is.

Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are two of the biggest names for modern Hollywood comedies of today, as they have previously gained notoriety for creating the "Harold and Kumar" franchise, which is like the "American Pie" series for having very raunchy humor, but also exemplifying heart in the relationship between the main characters. That aspect translates to a very respectable degree, as the duo manage to pull off the transition between the awkwardly raunchy situations of comedy, but still show the courtesy to the heart of the relationship between the lead characters. Additionally, the duo manage to take certain awkward situations, and surprisingly take them to an even further degree in their drawn-out manner, which hearkens heavily back to the famous humor executions shown in the original series.

One aspect of the "American Pie" franchise that has always stuck a constant positive chord with me is the soundtrack. Each entry in the original trilogy would have a soundtrack that reeks of nostalgia from the 90s and early 2000s, and the fact that I grew up in those two time periods ends up injecting those memories of when alternative rock and definitive rock music ran rampant throughout the music industry. In "Reunion," they not only play several famous tracks from the 90s (especially during the reunion), but also bring back numerous songs that played in one of the previous films. Unquestionably, the best track shows up when the guys make their entrance to the reunion, and it gave me that nostalgic feeling of "Oh man, those were the days in 90s music."

As for any flaws, like all "American Pie" movies, you can easily predict the outcome of the main plotlines that are introduced in the beginning of the film. However when you're going into a film like this, and especially if you've been a devoted fan of the franchise, it's a factor that shouldn't detract from the experience you know you're going to get. Additionally, it does take a little while for the film to relish within consistency of the film's comedy, but once the party at Stifler's commenced, it defined that aspect to the best degree. And finally, there were certain famous characters that are brought back from the first film that didn't get enough screen time to fully deliver the laughs that you could expect from them.

Overall though, being the devoted fan of the original "American Pie" franchise, "American Reunion" serves as the best possible testament to close the series on both a hilarious and nostalgic note. It's a film that's bound to please the fans of the original trilogy, and maybe even fans of the raunchy comedy genre that haven't been particularly familiar with the films before. Therefore, if you're in need of a good laugh or two, or are person that holds in very nostalgic memories of the 1990s decade, give this film a chance and you may walk out surprised.

Final Grade: B+

Review of "American Reunion" on Youtube 


  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. Funny movie, but not the most perfect send-off I was expecting for these guys.

  2. Not really the biggest fan of these movies, but you convinced me to see it. Great review!