They should have just let the franchise die.
“American Reunion” is the fourth installment in the “American Pie” series (not including the horrible straight to DVD flicks) that reunites the entire cast of the original film. The movie picks up with the main character of the franchise, Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs), who is having trouble in his marriage to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan).
At the same time, he learns of a reunion at his high school, which all his friends will be attending. When he arrives there, Jim and the whole gang come together and the antics for which they are known begin. As the reunion goes on, each of them discover things about themselves and old relationships.
The film is an exact replica of each “American Pie” that has come before it. Each character has their own subplot, which is fine except that each one has been done before. Kevin, played by Thomas Nicholas, has the same issues with his former love interest Vicky. Stiffler, played by Seann William Scott, is the same party animal he was in the first three films, and the other four characters get mad at him for it. And of course, Jim is the same sexually awkward character.
This seemed like an opportunity for the series to come to a point of growth, but it doesn’t. All these characters are the same as they were in high school and college, going through the same issues and having the same antics. For example, there is a point where the characters have to sneak around a house without being seen. Basically, the same thing happened in “American Pie 2” and “American Wedding.”
The acting is subpar too. Most of the actors can only do one thing in front of the camera, for example Jason Biggs just looking awkward at certain moments. It’s the same thing for the rest of the cast; they don’t bring a lot of charisma to their characters. Alyson Hannigan didn’t even seem like she was trying at times and seemed to be channeling her character from “How I Met Your Mother” more than Michelle.
Most of the parts that were supposed to be funny were shown in the trailers, however it didn’t matter much to me since the most I got out of the film was a few chuckles here and there. A lot of the jokes were really dated, which is probably because they missed the mark with this film. The jokes should have centered more around things like parenting, being married and other issues that come with getting older. The film only centers about 10 percent of it’s humor on this, the rest is the same stuff that the rest of the films had.
The only bright spot was Eugene Levy who offered some better moments. However, it wasn’t able to save what will most likely be the last film in the franchise. If you were a fan of the original, I recommend seeing it on DVD; it’s not worth the theater price. This get’s a very low 2 out of 5, spared a 1 out of 5 barely by some of its nostalgic factor and a few Eugene Levy bits.
BY MATTHEW LIEDKE