Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
Thomas Ian Nichols
Seann William Scott
Eddie Kaye Thomas
They should have just let the franchise die.
American Reunion is the fourth installment in the American Pie series (not including the horrible straight to DVD flicks) that reunites the entire cast of the original film. The movie picks up with the main character of the franchise, Jim Levenstein (Biggs), who is having a bit of trouble in marriage to Michelle (Hannigan).
At the same time he finds out about a reunion at his high school which all his friends will be attending. When he arrives there Jim and the whole gang come together and start getting into their antics which they have been in before in the previous installments. As the reunion goes on each of them discovers things about themselves and old relationships.
The film is an exact replica of each “American Pie” that has come before it. Each character has their own sub plot going on which is fine except for the fact that each one has been done before. Kevin played by Thomas Nicholas has the same issues with his former love interest Vicky that he’s had in the past. Stiffler played by Seann William Scott is the exact same party animal that he was in the first three and the other four characters get mad at him for it. And of course Jim is the same awkward character who is having sexual issues.
It’s the same thing, which is actually really sad because this seemed like an opportunity for the series to come to a point of growth, but it doesn’t. All these characters are the same as they were in high school and college, going through the same issues and having the same antics. For example, there is a point where the characters have to sneak around a house with out being seen, it’s basically the same thing that happened in “American Pie 2” and “American Wedding.”
The acting is subpar too. Most of the actors can only do one thing in front of the camera, for example Jason Biggs just looking awkward at certain moments. It’s the same thing for the rest of the cast too, with most of them not even bringing a lot of charisma to their characters. Alyson Hannigan didn’t even seem like she was trying at times since she seemed to be channeling her character from “How I Met Your Mother” more than Michelle.
Most of the parts that were suppose to be funny were shown in the trailers, however it didn’t matter much to me since the most I got out of the film were a few chuckles here and there. A lot of the jokes feel really dated, which is probably because they missed the mark with this film. The jokes should have centered more around things like parenting, being married and other things that come with getting older, however the film only centers about 10% of its humor on this, the rest is the same typical stuff that the rest of the films had.
“American Reunion” did not need to be made since it did nothing new and was not able to keep the old stuff fresh. Not to mention all the subplots just get boring since they are the same as before.
The only real bright spot here was Eugene Levy who did offer some better moments however it wasn’t able to save what will most likely be the last film in the franchise. If you were a fan of the original, I recommend just seeing it on DVD, it’s not worth the theater price. This get’s a very low 2 out of 5, saved barely by some of its nostalgic factor and a few Eugene Levy bits.
This review was first published in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s student newspaper, The Advocate.