American Reunion: "What's Up Class Of '99ers"

Director: Jon Hurwitz
               Hayden Schlossberg
Writer:    Jon Hurwitz
               Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Jason Biggs
               Alyson Hannigan
               Thomas Ian Nicholas
               Seann William Scott
               Chris Klein
               Eddie Kaye Thomas 
               Tara Reid
               Mena Suvari
               Eugene Levy
               Jennifer Coolidge
               Katrina Bowden
               Dania Ramirez
               John Cho
               Natasha Lyonne
               Shannon Elizabeth 
Rating:    ****

Release Date: 02/05/12

There a few people out there (and I mean a few) that think it is still too early for a new American Pie film, I couldn't agree less. After 5 god awful straight-to-DVD spin off films I think it is high time for the original cast to come together and how them how it's done. The film is filled with nostalgia, the characters are the same ones we fell in love with, the chemistry is still very much alive, and the jokes are just as naughty (if not worse) than ever before...and I loved it.

(L-R) Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jason Biggs,
Seann William Scott, Chris Klein & Eddie kaye Thomas
If you have seen the original films, you know that is one character who never holds back and outshines the others, and in this film Stifler is as bad and as funny as he ever was. A brash and in your face performance by Seann William Scott ensures that the laughter is heightened, and the tone lowered, in every scene in which the filthy and inappropriate Steve Stifler appears. Obnoxious, misogynistic and not exactly the sharpest tool in the tool shed, the character is at his best bringing filthy one liners and plenty of hilariously uncomfortable scenes throughout.

A high school reunion provides the perfect excuse for the old gang to get together, with the likes of Jim and Michelle (Biggs & Hannigan) suffering from marital blues, Oz (Klein) still yearning for his high school sweetheart Heather (Suvari), and Stifler trapped in temp job hell. The opportunity to reunite allows the males to let loose, a little to loose if we're about talking Mr Biggs lower region...

There plenty of comedy set pieces for the audience to belly laugh at, with highlights including Jim's dad (Levy) going on a weed induced escapade, Stifler's frequent efforts to be the dominant alpha male at all costs, and hapless Jim's close encounter with a girl he used to babysit. Fusing sight gags with crude one-liners, the results are almost always spot on, and although it's not to everyone's taste, if you were a fan before you will definitely be a fan now. There are plenty of winks to the previous movies to boost to the nostalgia, as well as really raising the bar with the gross out laughs.

The chemistry and relationships between the primary cast members are as enduring as ever, with many looking like they have barely aged. Wisely, several secondary character cameos are kept hidden away until the latter half of the movie (Cho, Elizabeth & Lyonne), so that rather than overdoing the nostalgia we get it woven in, in a subtle yet fulfilling way. In doing this, the pace is kept up and the flow never slows, something that could well have been an issue if everyone appeared at the same time.

(L-R) Jennifer Coolidge & Eugene Levy
There isn't much I can say about the film that is negative, yeah some of the jokes aren't exactly original, and sure the story isn't groundbreaking but everything is there to make this a successful comedy. The characters, the crazy shenanigans and the obnoxious behaviour is all there and it suits the film perfectly.

Some may say that it is sexist, or more targeted towards men, but with plenty of male action; including Jason Biggs peepee, I think its fair to say that it's aimed at almost everyone. I'll admit that at 113 minutes the film is a tad long, but there are enough laughs and winning performances to justify biting into another chunk of the Pie. Seeing the cast back together made me bizarrely happy, and I really hope (for my own selfish needs) that this isn't the last time we see the class of '99.

American Reunion - Red Band Trailer