Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Seann William Scott, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, John Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Eugene Levy, Natasha Lyonne, Dania Ramirez, Katrina Bowden, Jay Harrington, Shannon Elizabeth, Neil Patrick Harris
Written by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Directed by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content throughout, nudity, language, brief drug use and teen drinking
Running Time: 113
Date: 04/04/2012

American Reunion (2012)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Lucky Stifler

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The American Pie gang returns in American Reunion.

It doesn't feel that they've been gone so long. But in other ways it feels like they've been gone a very long time.

Thirteen years ago, they were high school seniors, but they returned in two sequels, and at least one cast member returned in four more direct-to-video sequels.

However, when the first movie came out in the summer of 1999, it seemed like a refreshing, irreverent new brand of comedy.

Nowadays, it seems a bit too... nice. Except, that is, for Seann William Scott as Steve Stifler. He's still the same jerk, and still the only funny thing in the movie.

And so it is that Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) gather together for the big reunion weekend.

They are all having troubles either in their relationships or in their jobs. Except, that is, except for Stifler. He has no girlfriend, and he hates his job, but at least he has no qualms about insulting the boss.

Arriving back in their hometown, each guy is tested as old flames are ignited. Jim, who is married to Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) and has a baby, gets some attention from a hot teen (Ali Cobrin) he used to babysit.

Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, and Dania Ramirez (the last a newcomer to the series), co-star as the girls that stir the other boys' hearts.

Then the festivities start, and just about every single joke consists of characters -- especially Biggs' Jim -- doing something embarrassing and getting caught.

It's always exactly on cue, and never surprising or shocking. This stuff is just not funny anymore, if it ever was.

Meanwhile, poor Oz, Kevin, and Finch rarely get even that much.

The only really funny parts, of course, come from Stifler. Unlike his friends, he never navel-gazes or whines or worries about his troubles.

He simply barges into a scene, and takes what he wants. His brand of carnal honesty still works. He provides release in an age when worrying is no longer funny.

Unfortunately, even Stifler is given a so-called "character arc," and is required to be unfunny for a large portion of the second half.

In one of the movie's best scenes, the other pals suddenly realize that if they ever had any fun at all, it was because of Stifler.

The same goes for this movie.

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