After American Wedding — the last official entry in the somewhat overrated American Pie series — premiered in 2003, we had at long last began to believe we would no longer have to endure the same damn jokes over and over again. Sure, there were those awful direct-to-video spin-off films, but who really ever counted those to begin with? Indeed, after American Wedding, the string of Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott films seemed to die (or at least wane to the point where nobody pretended to really notice anymore). Nine years later, Jason and Seann decided to take their careers back — an co-produced an unwanted reunion film.
So, American Reunion came to pass. Fortunately for both Jason and Seann, a good 90% of their former castmates weren’t all that busy in the industry — such as Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, and that one other guy — so I’m sure it wasn’t a crapshoot pulling them together. The story here, as I’m sure you have guessed, finds those dumb annoying kids from the original films getting together as dumb annoying adults for their 13th anniversary high school reunion. Sure, they’ve aged, but they’re still not all the way grown up: Jim and Michelle (Biggs and Alyson Hannigan) are having problems with their sex life (a byproduct of having children), and most of the others aren’t truly satisfied with the way their lives have turned out thus far.
Sadly, none of them made the same pact the fellows in I Melt With You did, so we get to see everyone learn a few lessons about life here — again. We are also privy to the same unfunny jokes about sex, drinking, and defecation that we have all heard before — again. The true highpoint here, as it was in the previous films, is the great Eugene Levy, reprising his role as Biggs’ father. This time, his character is widowed, and it’s up to Biggs and Scott to get him back into the swing of things. For my money, that was the highlight of the film, and there were a few other moments in the film that brought forth a chuckle or two from my hard-to-please sense of humor; alas, this slice of Pie is as stale as the many analogies all us critics have used in the past comparing the Pie films to a slice of pie.
Many of the other folks from the previous films (Jennifer Coolidge, John Cho, Natasha Lyonne, Chris Owen, and Shannon Elizabeth) pop up in brief or extended cameos, but ultimately add nothing to the equation. Neil Patrick Harris and Rebecca De Mornay also contribute a few minutes of their time to this film. Strangely enough, our producers and writers/directors (Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, creators of the Harold and Kumar legacy) appear to have become a bit conservative in their ’30s, as the level of raunchiness we all experienced in the first film has evaporated considerably. And I was watching the Unrated version of the film, mind you.
You might think that this film only seems tamer than the others when you compare it to all the other vulgar comedies out there today, but you’ll figure out that it truly, genuinely is once you check some of the deleted/extended scenes available in the bonus materials section. Additional special features include an audio commentary, a pop-up commentary by stars/executive producers Biggs and Scott, alternate takes, a gag reel, and various making-of and montage stuff aplenty. The Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/UltraViolet Combo set (!) contains both the R-Rated theatrical cut as well as the aforementioned Unrated version, both of which are presented (on the Blu-ray) in a better-than-average A/V transfer.
To sum it all up: American Reunion is as brain-dead as its predecessors were. There really is no reason for the film to exist (just like its precursors), and appears to have been made solely to bring some work to its cast. Oh, well, at least there were some nice titties in the film — and I would like to take this opportunity to extend a great big thank you to young actress Ali Cobrin for exposing those two items.
Hey, I never said I was all grown up, either, you know.