Movie Review: ‘American Reunion’ creates plenty of halfhearted laughs

By Nathan Gordon | | @GordonRises
American Reunion | Directed by  Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg | R

First Words
I must say that my type of humor is right in line with what the American Pie franchise has built itself on. So I don’t care if sequels aren’t as good as the ones before them or that it’s been several years since American Wedding, I was looking forward to laughing at a raunchy comedy, and that I did.

The gang from the previous three films in the American Pie franchise reunites for their high school reunion. Everyone takes the weekend of the reunion to catch up with each other, which leads to pieces of their past coming back up and potentially affect their future.

The American Pie franchise always promises laughs and this latest installment is no different. I’m not saying that American Reunion is the “laugh so hard that you start tearing up” type of funny, but it does have you doing some sort of laughing throughout. Since it’s been some time since the last movie in the franchise was released, I liked how they joked about the time difference in some instances. The scene that brings out the most laughter deals with Jim (Jason Biggs) having to sneak Kara (Ali Corbin), who Jim used to babysit, into her own house. It’s not on the same level as the bedroom web-cam scene in American Pie, but that doesn’t make it any less funny.

There were no standout acting performances, but none that brought the film down either (OK, besides Chris Klein as Oz … and Tara Reid as Vicky). I will say that Eugene Levy did keep his screen appearances entertaining as Jim’s dad. Those appearances are highlighted by a drunken moment thanks to the help of Stifler (Seann William Scott). On that note, Scott did a good job portraying a character that, after all these years, still shows no signs of maturity and provides a great deal of the film’s laughs.

While American Reunion had plenty of laughs, many of those same laughs came from jokes that felt forced, and I think that’s what really made most of the jokes lose their effect. We all know what to expect, humor-wise, from this movie, but most of the time it felt like the script read for Stifler to fill in conversations with another nasty comment. Also, many of the laughs from the first half of the film came from the trailers, so much of the first half wasn’t really fresh.

As mentioned earlier, Tara Reid is one of the few cast members that didn’t have a respectable performance. Luckily she was in the movie for just a few brief scenes reciting very unbelievable lines. Also, I would have liked to see more of Alyson Hannigan. Her character, Michelle, brought lots of laughs in the previous installments, and this time around it felt like her character was very much underused.

Last Words
American Reunion gave you what you expected in that it was a funny movie based off of nonstop dirty jokes. With that said, most of the jokes lost their potential thanks to the forced feel. Directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who are responsible for the first two Harold and Kumar movies, must have came in trying too hard to stick to the franchises roots. This is by far not the best film in the franchise, but it would be alright if you slipped it somewhere before American Wedding.

RATING: 2.5/5

1 comment
  1. Sonya said:

    Very nice write up about American Reunion. This guy can write!

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