In a single, long-overdue weekend the entire gang return to East Great Falls for their reunion. In the years that have passed, Jim and Michelle married; Kevin and Vicky said goodbye; Oz and Heather grew apart; while Finch still longs for Stifler’s mom. These friends come home as adults to reminisce about – and become inspired by – the hormonal teens who aspired to lose their virginity in the summer of ’99.
The original American Pie trilogy (ignoring those direct to DVD releases) was released over four years from ’99 to 2003, nine years later the franchise is back in cinemas with ‘American Reunion’ and bringing the original cast with it. This time around taking on both writing and directing duties are Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg whom of course both worked on the Harold and Kumar films.
‘American Reunion’ kicks off with something of a flat first act, reintroducing the various characters after a long hiatus off screen with a few gags thrown in. It doesn’t take long for these characters to re-establish themselves as their familiar quirks and personalities are quick to assert a presence on screen.
After the re-introductions are made things move along towards the main story arc for the new film which obviously by the title revolves around a reunion event for the class of ’99. While the characters have all moved on to different phases of life and different circumstances once the group is back together things quickly devolve into the familiar antics of the previous films.
Fans of the franchise will no doubt find what they are looking for in a new American Pie film with the all too familiar comedic sensibilities taking place in ‘American Reunion’. The film manages to juggle the various characters quite well giving each couple their own mini story arc which all follow a similar pattern but come together making up the entire film similar to previous instalments.
Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy all reprise their roles without skipping a beat. Jason Biggs and Eugene Levy deserve a special mention, their onscreen chemistry is pitch perfect and they each play off each other to delivery some very funny scenes. Chris Klein’s over acting is back in force with ‘American Reunion’ and while the script plays it up somewhat he delivers an at times cringe worth performance, unfortunately Thomas Ian Nicholas and Tara Reid aren’t much better though with less screen time they tend to blend in a little better.
Being a reunion film the cameos are here as well with several of the original characters returning to round things out, some cameos are done a little better than others but it adds a nice touch and serve as a reminder of the previous films without having any real impact on this film.
Overall ‘American Reunion’ felt a little lacklustre, however it delivers an entertaining film bringing back familiar characters for any nostalgic audiences keen to revisit them and to get an update on their lives.
I’m giving ‘American Reunion’ 3 out of 5 stars, it’s in cinemas Australia wide from Thursday 5th April 2012.
Be sure to check out our interview with the directors of ‘American Reunion’ here.