We review American Reunion – Tired and predictable, this reunion is a dud

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It’s been 13 year since most of us have last been able to look at apple pie without flinching, all because of goofball virgin Jim and his equally sexually challenged friends.

Unfortunately, the years have not been kind to the now grown-up gang, and just like most real life high school reunions, this third (true) American Pie sequel is kind of disappointing with long moments of awkwardness where nobody quite knows what they’re supposed to be doing.

Also, there are some cocktail sausages on display. But more about that later.

New parents Jim (Jason Biggs) and creative flute player Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are finding themselves just too bone tired to jump each other’s bones anymore. So in a bid to rekindle their high-school romance, the couple decide to head back to their hometown for their High School reunion.

All Jim wants to do for the weekend is get freaky with his wife, while also hanging out with his boys: successful sportscaster Oz (Chris Klein), housebroken husband Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols), globetrotting Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and braying, foul mouthed Stifler (Sean William Scott). But soon the guys are caught up in trying to prove to the new generation of high school kids (and to themselves) that they’re still relevant and fun, and have in fact not grown up to become their parents. Along the way some of them rekindle old flames, Jim has the tables turned on him as a horny teen sets him in her sights, Stifler finally gets his revenge on Finch and Jim’s dad (played by the Muppet-browed Eugene Levy) makes a long overdue acquaintance with a certain infamous MILF.

One of the biggest appeals of the original American Pie was in just how far it was willing to push the boundaries (see comment about apple pie above), with the resulting unexpected raunchiness serving up barrels of laughs. Unfortunately co-writers and directors Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz (despite their Harold and Kumar pedigree) seem content to just observe the boundaries from a distance, approaching slowly every once in a while, before scampering off before anybody notices, hurling crass Stifler poop jokes over their quickly retreating shoulders as a way of making amends.

Maybe it’s because we’ve not only seen all of these jokes before (especially considering how literally just about every single one of them was in the trailer), but have seen them done better by all the Judd Appatows, Todd Phillips’ and Kristen Wigs that have sprung up since the original movie’s release, but by the time the film’s most “shocking” moment rolls around – Jason Biggs properly introducing the world to possibly the 3rd most important character in the series: his penis – you’ll realize that this is nothing but an inferior and charmless copy of the original.

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Schlossberg and Hurwirtz make the mistake of expecting nostalgia to carry the movie, bringing back literally every person involved in the original, right from the expected Vicky (Tara Reid) and Heather (Mena Suvari) to the completely-forgot-they-even-existed Sherminator and MILF Guys. And in attempting to give absolutely everybody their time in the spotlight, complete with schmaltzy sentimentality, the film is robbed of whatever little energy it may have had. Because let’s face it, with the exception of Jim, Michelle, Jim’s dad and Stifler, we really could not care less about anybody else. In fact, hands up if you actually even remembered who Kevin was… Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Not helping matters much is that fact that for the most part, the performances range from just simply adequate to Chris Klein doing his best impersonation of Keanu Reeves doing a Channing Tatum impression. (No that sentence is not a mistake.) It also seems that the combination of dodgy plastic surgery and creative pharmaceutical cocktails have left Tara Reid’s face completely void of human expression.

Jim’s dad and the insatiable Stifer’s mom (Jennifer Coolidge) do their best to try and rescue the film with some side-splitting comedic chemistry, but unfortunately it’s just too little too late. This stale pie is just simply way past it’s sell-by date.

 

Last Updated: April 16, 2012

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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