With the latest release of the Marvel franchise, Avengers Assemble, hitting our screens last month, it is little surprise that one of the year’s hotly anticipated sequels, American Pie: Reunion, somewhat slipped under the wire. The fourth of the original series, the eight of the overall franchise, this instalment saw all of the class of ’99 return for a cameo-filled romp of middle-aged men, trying to recapture adolescence, rekindling their lost friendships. As a fine blend of sentimentality, humour and awkward situations, American Reunion is a great watch for anybody in search of a good laugh, whether an avid fan of the originals or not.
The biggest drawing point that the film seemed to have was that, unlike American Pie: The Wedding, the entire cast were back, including the much missed Chris “Oz” Ostreicher. However, unlike the film’s trailer suggests, his was the only return that carried much calibre. Token minute-long appearances from great characters, such as Sherman, Jessica and Nadia were rather unnecessary to plot development and very far from the trailer’s original set-up. On first viewing, this was a bit of a disappointment, as the nostalgia that the film encompasses was not all there.
However, after a second viewing, this film really comes in to its element. Less a story about five men in mid-life crises, searching for true love or life’s meaning, the final instalment is more a tale of friendship than any of its predecessors. After settling down, making their names, establishing themselves in routines, the four men realise that it is their friendship with one another that are missing from everything they have.
For those who immediately dismiss sequels, abhorring their attempts to outclass their predecessor, do not be put off by this film. Admittedly, the first film is the champion of the series – not one of the sequels has come close to the magic that that bought to our screen. However, the battle for second place is now hotly contested with this and American Pie 2. Both have their flaws, yet both are wonderfully funny. The final scenes featuring Jim’s Dad, the MILF guys and, this time, Finch’s mum, are hilarious, unprecedented and still reminiscent of the original films.
The biggest negative that came from this film was the constant references to modern times. Where some films use subtle reference to Facebook, or other social networking sites, one of the key elements to this film is the lack of communication between Sean William-Scott’s Stifler and his neglectful friends. It seemed too tacked on, as a way of showing that the characters have definitely progressed from the nineties – something that is not at all obvious from their seemingly unchanged appearances.
This film does a very good job in rounding off the series. Fans who were disappointed with American Pie: The Wedding, and the questionable spin-offs, can rest easy in knowing that their favourite characters can still all get together and produce some of the greatest laughs that will hit our screens this year. This is a recommended must-see film of 2012.
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Video reproduced from YouTube / trailers
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