Directed By: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott
Reviewed By: Darryl Griffiths
In 1999, thanks to one sexually frustrated and immature young man and a disturbingly affectionate moment with a pastry, Hollywood witnessed the rebirth of the ‘teen comedy’. A franchise that spawned three solid portions (i refuse to elaboarate on the stale straight to DVD abominations), American Pie proved to be a welcome stop gap in between the colourful 80’s that was dominated by John Hughes’ led sweetness and laying the foundations of a winning formula, that many genre entries (Superbad a mere example) since have tried to emulate or enhance.
9 years on after the Levenstein/Flaherty wedding, ‘Harold and Kumar’ directors Hurwitz and Schlossberg have kindly reunited the cast for us and sent them on a grossout nostalgia trip! Cue Prince music..
Many rising from the pit of cinematic mediocrity, we begin with Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). Now with a two year old son in tow, the family life is proving a tough obstacle to overcome especially with their sexual spark also somewhat diminished. I guess R Kelly’s ‘Bump and Grind’ is not always a winner in the bedroom department..
Elsewhere.. the larger than life Stifler (Seann William Scott) may have succumbed to the uninspiring lure of office work, but still can’t resist the temptation of being pervy around mildly attractive women and wild parties. Oz (Chris Klein), is desperate to eradicate an embarassing talent show run from the memory banks and focus on his career as a semi-respectable sports broadcaster.
The incomparable Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has broadened his horizons with a ‘scar’ to prove it, whilst Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) has fatefully slipped into the trap of being a modern day husband, subjected to reality TV fodder on a regular basis. All eager to recapture the magic of their wacky college days, they all return to their original stomping ground of East Great Falls for a fun trip down memory lane. For our lovable collective, it doesn’t take long for the mayhem and rekindling of old flames (Tara Reid’s Vicky and Mena Savari’s Heather most notably) to occur.
The main gripe with ‘Reunion’ is that the focus is so lobsided towards the likes of Jim/Michelle and Stifler, the majority of the cast and their sub plots feel tacked on and one note. Although, it could be argued that with three previous installments under their belt, there’s already been enough attention shown to be engaged with their unravelling issues.
On the upside, this latest installment has certainly not lost it’s eye for well executed cringeworthy gags. Whether it’s Jim still not been able to avoid being naked in worst case scenarios, his dad (Eugene Levy) attempting to be as ‘down with the kids’ as he was 13 years ago or Stifler corrupting minds everywhere with his implausiable advice and vulgar one-liners, they still frequently hit the mark. In addition, there’s enough playful nods to the previous ‘Pie’ entries and the obligatory ‘pop-rock’ heavy soundtrack that will warm the hearts of fans.
Sure it doesn’t exactly break the mould, being a little obvious with its comic targets and it won’t entice new lovers. But amidst all the nudity and sexual innuendos, ‘Reunion’ exceeds expectactions. The cast being as good intentioned as they were the first time around, whilst still delivering the funny in abundance.
‘Save the best slice for last?’ Slight overstatement..
But a surprisingly ‘tasty’ return!
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