- 24 FPS
- Insider's P.O.V
REVIEWED BY: James Wright
RELEASED: May 2
They might be simple, yet it’s difficult to deny the first two American Pie films were nothing short of hysterical. But the sequel American Wedding – released all the way back in 2003 – and the deluge of God-awful straight to DVD releases the franchise spawned, were stale, dry and every other noun you can think of relating to gone-off pastry. Tasteless – that’ll do.
The hope is that American Reunion directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg – best known for their work on several Harold and Kumar movies – would bring something fresh to the pie-making table. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
So as each of the original cast – Jim, Oz, Kevin, Stifler, Finch et al – return home for their annual high school reunion, we learn that each character, despite varying levels of superficial success, is suffering from their own distinct – and very grown-up - issues, like never having sex with your wife, being bored stiff in your job or not having a real purpose in your life.
No prizes for guessing what happens next: the guys let off steam, party and pull pranks, and get into a huge fight – in this instance over some topless teenager. But, lest we forget, this morally sticky situation can only be remedied in one way. A massive, final, drunken bender.
It’s an uninspired, hackneyed story made palatable by the few laughs that crop up along the way (Eugene Levy delivering some overly explicit paternal advice is still a crowd-pleaser). But there’s nothing on show here to truly dispel the belief that not alot has changed; it is, to a very large degree, the same gags, the same pranks, the same sentiments, the same arcs, the same moments. Someone out there still thinks the formula will work.
So, while this slice of pie might taste a little better than the rest of the batch, it’s still not as fresh as that original recipe. Truth is, no new recipe ever will be.