"American Reunion" delivers the usual big dumb fun
After two sequels, four spin-offs and plenty of sex jokes, the "American Pie" franchise is back with its third official sequel, "American Reunion." Fans can rest assured it's packed with all the same hair-brained antics and juvenile scheming as its predecessors, and for those who aren't fans – come on, you weren't going to see it anyway.
"American Reunion" brings the usual suspects back to their hometown of East Great Falls, Mich., for their 13th high school reunion (yep – seems they couldn't get it together in time for the decade mark). Jim, Kevin, Oz, Finch and Stifler decide to make a weekend of it to catch up and relive the glory days, and naturally, the funny ensues. And by "funny," I mean potty humor, ridiculous sexual exploits and random shots of scantily clad barely legals and Jason Biggs wearing cookware on his ... well, you know.
In a refreshing move, "Reunion" doesn't lamely fall back on its old standby jokes. In fact, it rests more on the laurels of Jim's awkward internet video than it does the notorious apple pie incident. It's all accent humor though; instead, the plot circles around Jim and Michelle's stuck-in-a-rut marriage troubles and Jim's obsessively infatuated 18-year-old neighbor girl. Mixing things up around the periphery are various other characters working on getting a little perspective, all while Stifler does what he does best and exacerbates things even further. What "Reunion" also does is offer up a couple long, painfully awkward scenes of "It's not what it looks like!" humor which go on just a little too long and detract from the rest of the movie's solid, bad-but-OK style.
Overall, these minor trouble spots end up brushed under the rug by all of the "good stupid" that makes up the rest of the movie. This is both a compliment and an insult. On the upside, "American Reunion" packs equal doses of new comedy and nods to its franchise predecessors. Nostalgic viewers who have been on the bandwagon since "American Pie" will appreciate the references and blast-from-the-past soundtrack, and newbies will still be able to jump on with little more than the knowledge that this is a sequel to "that one movie where that dude bangs the pie and that other guy does the loud one's mom."
In "American Pie" terms, these flicks are the Stifler of comedy: they're entertaining for a while, but if you spend too much time with them you'll end up losing a whole lot of brain cells. There's no saying this is a good movie, but there's no saying ones like "American Reunion" don't have a place in the grand comedic pantheon – just, you know, somewhere in the back.
Theaters and showtimes for American Reunion
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