After three surprisingly successful theatrical releases and a whole slew of straight-to-DVD offspring, the American Pie series is back in multiplexes with American Reunion. And while my knee-jerk reaction to this completely unneeded chapter is to dismiss it as unfunny and unoriginal, there’s still a part of me — and it pains me to the core of whatever pompous elitism I might carry around as a film critic — that can’t completely dismiss the movie as a total failure. Like its predecessors, it follows the strict formula of having its de facto hero Jim (Jason Biggs) subjected to all kinds of awkward sexual humiliations (I can’t begin to fathom the kind of Freudian scarring that he must have four movies in), while his friends deal with their various interpersonal problems, and Stifler (Seann William Scott) generally annoys everyone with his meat-headed immaturity. But by having the characters reunite for their high school reunion, the film is able to have an underlying maturity that you wouldn’t expect. In the end, for everything the film has working in its favor, it’s still an American Pie flick. Beyond one joke with John Cho (who’s still being credited as “MILF Guy #2”), it’s just not very funny. The real question is, nine years after the last of these movies, who really cares?
Director: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Writer: Adam Herz and Jon Hurwitz
Producer: Craig Perry, Warren Zide, Chris Moore and Adam Her
Cast: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jennifer Coolidge and Eugene Levy