American Reunion (2012)

American Reunion (poster)

Directed by John Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

It started in 1999 with a simple but effective story: five friends can’t think about much else other than sex. Over a decade has passed and the gang returns for a high school reunion in East Great Falls, Michigan. With the effective formula of total nudity and ‘crazy teen humour’ being the premise of any of the American Pie spin offs, it’s only logical that the original cast would return for a final reunion. How has life treated Michelle, Jim, Heather, Oz, Kevin, Vicky, Finch…. Stifler and most importantly Stifler’s mom and Jim’s dad? American Reunion will take you on yet another hormonal quest.

Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), the popular high school couple, are happily married now and also have a child. Kevin’s (Thomas Ian Nicholas)  an architect and Oz (Chris Klein) has become a famous celebrity on a popular television dance show. Then there is Stifler (Seann William Scott). Don’t worry, same old same old. In the spirit of his high school years, we see him work as an intern in a large firm where things don’t really work out with his boss. I have always been a fan of the Stifmeister and his scenes will lead to enough satisfaction among the fans.

The first movie in the series was a combination of a few things, but noticeably one could recognize the so-called ‘teen humour’ throughout the entire story. Scenes explicitly emphasized on adult issues. The first movie was consequently a huge success considering the fact that it’s an R-rated comedy which would in many cases lower the expectations of the audience. However, the series has survived all these years and here we are with the fourth movie. Just a quick fact: the first American Pie movie’s budget was around 11 million dollars; and its revenues were so much as 235 million dollars. Indeed, that explains a lot.

There is a lot to laugh about in American Reunion, but a huge hit does not always guarantee a positive reception with critics. In fact, the actors’ confidence because of the financial success of the franchise and its cinematography form one of the most extreme visual juxtapositions I have seen in a very long time. Traditionally, the characters will eventually find themselves in the most awkward situations ever, but unlike the first movie the characters don’t have a real mission to strive to. For instance dealing with teen issues. This makes the movie’s plot include even the most insignificant characters, like Sherman the ‘Shermanitor’, and subsequently awards every character with their own story, not even taking into account their relevance to the bigger picture.

Nevertheless, the movies keeps up its solid pace in delivering the best jokes and makes sure the audience won’t get bored easily. However, through the abundant use of subplots, American Reunion is a real mess while desperately trying to stay true to the effective formula that made the franchise so popular in the first place.

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