Over a decade on from high school and the gang are back together again in East Great Falls for their high school reunion. Check out our review of American Reunion (aka American Pie 4) after the jump.
It’s high school reunion time and the whole gang are back in town to celebrate and to try to recapture their glory days. Things have changed though – there are kids, wives, husbands, boring jobs, and quasi-celebrity status to take into account. A few days before the reunion the guys head back to East Great Falls to get the party started. From here there are three days of drinking, parties, and horribly forced conversations about the past, before the big event takes place in the school hall.
If you loved the previous American Pie films and feel a certain level of longing for the 90s, then this is most certainly not the film for you. If you’re feeling nostalgic and want to re-live the fun of your youth, pop the first American Pie in the DVD player and enjoy the humour and genuine moments that the coming-of-age film is packed full of. American Reunion is an empty shell of a movie, with less laughs and charisma than a news story about starvation and famine.
In the 113 minutes of it’s runtime, there is barely a handful of decent laughs (and these are mostly thanks to Stifler, played by Seann William Scott), and most of were in the trailer anyway. The humour relies on the exploitation of teenage girls and the same sexual humour that the franchise has been trotting out for the last 13 years. Sure some of this is funny, but it turns out that having 30 year olds say and do the same thing as 18 year olds is really kind of creepy and weird.
The biggest crime of this film is that it is quite simply boring. There are long periods where the characters just sit around and talk about the past or how they wish things were different. Sadly the acting is so wooden and the dialogue is so forced, that none of the emotional moments hit home at all. It’s just a bunch of 30 year olds complaining and being incredibly mundane. Let’s be honest, some of these characters weren’t that interesting to begin with. Who wants to hear Kevin yap on about his life choices?
Did we mention the film was 113 minutes long? There was absolutely no need for this. Each of the main characters had a story arch within the film, and the final act of the film was spent clearing these up before the reunion could actually take place. Some of these arcs could have been cut or seriously shortened. Actually some of the characters could have been cut completely – they were merely familiar faces from the past turning up for a pay check. The acting was most definitely of the ‘phone in, don’t care’ variety. The film also cuts the female perspective out almost completely. In the first few films Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and the other women had more screen-time and actual stories. In this they are nothing more the girlfriends/wives/past loves/present entertainment.
If you were hoping to relive the glory of the 90s with this film then forget it. Familiar faces and 90s music, does not a good [nostalgic] film make. Is there anything worse than a film that makes you feel almost nothing except boredom? Watch the original film and blast some Third Eye Blind on your stereo – it will be a lot more fun and will save you 113 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back.
Director(s): Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
Writer(s): Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Adam Herz
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
Runtime: 113 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: April 5th 2012; USA: April 6th 2012