American Pie: Reunion
Director: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari
While watching American Pie: Reunion, my girlfriend and I got into quite a heated discussion about which member of the original American Pie cast had enjoyed the most successful career in the thirteen years since its release.
My choice was Sean William Scott (Stifler), who became a familiar face on a swag of gross-out comedies marketed to a teen audience (Dude Wheres My Car, Road Trip, Role Models) and seemed set to be the next Will Ferrell, as well as playing the sidekick in a couple of action movies (The Rundown, Bulletproof Monk).
My girlfriend thought it might have been Jason Biggs. I don't know why. I think she just wanted to disagree with me.
Either way, we both agreed that American Pie had been the high point of most of the cast members' careers, and at least a highlight for everyone else, so it makes perfect sense that the original cast were ready to star in a reunion. No, really: the premise of American Pie: Reunion - as you may have guessed - is that the original gang are together again for a high school reunion, leading to marital tension, awkward sexual encounters, and at least one instance of pooping in a chilly bin.
The problem with the film is that it doesn't know who its target audience is.
I mean, several scenes in this film directly allude to the growth of the original's audience, while also pandering to fans with a series of "oh, yeah, I remember that guy" moments, so appealing to viewers in their late twenties or early thirties, who remember the original was at least a consideration when writing and producing Reunion.
But those moments are offset by an assortment of juvenile gross-out and sexual gags which, to an audience who've grown up with gross-out and sexual gags, are unlikely to earn much more than a snicker, let alone any belly laughs.
Reunion gets a few things right: regardless of the fact that the material is just horrible, it is a fun trip down memory lane with a group of characters who were - for a moment in the late nineties - pop culture icons. The music selection is bang on too, with everyone from R Kelly to Chumbawumba only adding to that nostalgic air that surrounds the film.
Technically, the bluray package - which comes as a triple-play pack, with DVD and digital copies included - is nice: the image is the now-standard 1080p high-definition widescreen at 1.85:1 aspect ratio, and looks good despite a few colouring issues and some graininess during darker scenes.
Audio is presented in DTS digital surround 5.1 HD and sounds fine; a film like this doesn't provide much opportunity for flashy surround effects, but I have no complaints.
American Pie: Reunion will force a couple of chuckles and have you thinking about your own life in the late nineties, and the bluray exclusive extra features add some value to the package. But this is ultimately a shallow movie which will probably be forgotten mere seconds after the final credits roll.
Special Features: Deleted and Extended Scenes, Alternate Takes, The Best Of Biggs compilation, Lake Bake, Dancing With The Oz, American Gonad-iators, American Reunion Yearbook, Gag Reel, The "Reunion" Reunion featurette, Jim's Dad featurette, Ouch! My Balls! featurette, commentary tracks.
- © Fairfax NZ News