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5/23/12

AMERICAN REUNION - REVIEW


Some jokes never get old.

Then again some do.

Sadly, the whole American Pie thing started getting old with American Pie: The Wedding, and that was before all those straight-to-DVD ones. So yeah, a reunion I guess could have been a good way to update the franchise a little bit and maybe do something epic with those characters for once...

Unfortunately, studios went for the safer route: American Reunion is the typical comedy sequel with everyone having a bit of a mid-life crisis before all growing up and settling down like good little human puppets. YAWN. Now I suppose they can take comfort in the knowledge that American Reunion is the best American Pie film since the second one but it's a pretty big drop-off in between and with all the cast back for a full-on reunion, they could have put a tad bit more effort into telling some kind of memorable and different story.

You know the drill: everyone shows up, Stifler screws up their lives after a (mildly) crazy week-end, everyone's in deep shit but then they all learn a valuable lesson and it all ends with everyone happily ever after. It's a bullshit safe-ass plot and frankly it's about as disappointing as a sequel plot can get. I mean, can't a mainstream film, for once, let go of it's world-approved morals and be a little... anarchic? Dare I say it even... fun? This cast of goofballs should have gone off-the-rails mad Hangover-style and the "moral" could have been that sometimes there are no morals: life can just be an unpredictable mess of crazy-ass shit and that can be a good thing. Hell, I would have even be happy with a self-parody of American Pie-style teen movies!

Instead, we are left with all-too familiar jokes not delivered particularly well, a cast who tries hard but never fully goes for it and a not-so-fresh teen movie franchise starring a bunch of 40 year-olds...

You've got endless Stifler's mum references, Eugene Levy's dad making Jason Biggs uncomfortable, mentions of Band Camp (wink), cameos (wink wink), boobs (wink wink wink) and a masturbation scene (wink-verdose). I mean, it is kinda nice to see everyone back from Nadia to The Sherminator but it's all so dated. We've seen all this a million times, it was kinda amusing when I was 15 but now it feels like the young me is taunting me, making faces at me and being a bit of a dork. I could just be getting old but I had a blast watching the likes of Hot Tub Time Machine and... American Pie 2, how mature could I really be?

Oh and FYI: smoking joints was controversial in the 50's. This is 2012, I probably have one up my ass RIGHT NOW and I don't even know about it! Welcome to the present, screenwriters!

Thankfully Sean-William Scott's around and the presence of his genius creation Stifler does add a few lols to the proceedings. Plus the film has the good sense not to over-Stif us like The Wedding did and just let the man come in occasionally and be the loveable, despicable dick we all know and love. Fun moments include him getting back at a couple of jerks in a totally not-appropriate and fair way and getting Eugene Levy pissed.

On the whole, yes American Reunion has a couple of funny lines/scenes here and there and, like I said, seeing the entire cast back together has some nostalgic value but it all still feels really old, the humour really failing to catch-up with 2012 and instead settling for a certain lazy blokeyness with a grandpa-approved moral centre we could have frankly done without.

Not the worst but definitely time to Pie-out once and for all.

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