American Reunion

The gang is back for another round, as Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan return for “American Reunion.”

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“American Reunion” opened second at the box office over the weekend, raking in a mediocre $21.5 million. For the fourth weekend in a row, “Hunger Games” continued to dominate the competition, grossing $33.5 million, and bringing the film’s worldwide gross to $460 million.

The fourth film in the “American Pie” series (not counting the spin-offs) brings back all of the original names that helped propel the success of the first three films.

Not surprisingly, director Jon Hurwitz sticks to the formula of raunchy adult humor that viewers have come to expect from the series, but goes even further by giving viewers an extra dose of flesh.

The film reintroduces Jason Biggs as Jim Levenstein and Alyson Hannigan as Michelle, the married couple whose sex lives have gone absent since the birth of their young child.

Amidst the couple’s personal problems, Biggs runs into further trouble when he reunites with his four best friends for their high school reunion. The crew, including Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Thomas) and Kevin (Thomas Nicholas) has since found lives in the real world, but much about the group has remained the same.

Stifler is still the immature, woman-chasing, outspoken guy. Finch, who had a one-night stand with Stifler’s mom, is still holding the fact over Stifler’s head. Oz is still the hopeless romantic. Jim is still the good-hearted guy who finds himself in sticky situations. And Kevin is still the forgettable extra character who adds nothing of substance to the series.  

Jim and the crew continue to learn from their mistakes the hard way. Jim finds his marriage at risk after he encounters the girl he used to baby-sit, who has since become a wild, promiscuous party girl whose crush on Jim has never ceased. Stifler finds himself outcasted by the group once again after his shallow endeavors compromise what little integrity they have. Finch, who promotes himself as a success, is actually struggling to find any such thing, and Oz, who has indeed found success, attempts to veer away from it in an attempt to find true love. Lastly, Kevin, now in a committed relationship, finds himself tempted by his former high school sweetheart, Vicky. Each dealing with their own issues, the group must dig deep to find moral courage to keep their priorities in check.  

“American Reunion” caps off the series in much of the same fashion as it began, but offers more outrageous circumstances than ever before. Still, at times the film feels like a mere rerun, forgivable by Scott’s energetic performance, fresh arsenal of slanders, and never-ending indecencies.

The “must-go” rating given by reviewers gives the film a bit too much credit, particularly considering its opening numbers and the fact the wildly successful “Hunger Games” is rated less favorably.

Still, “American Reunion” is worth a try, if for nothing more than as an investment in the time spent watching the three previous films.

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