July 18, 2012

1999’s American Pie spawned an unlikely trilogy that concluded in 2003 as the film’s popularity seemed to peak and the story had few places left to go. Cut to nearly ten years later, and it feels like the studio said “it’s still a viable franchise, right? Let’s find out.” Franchise filmmaking is the meat and potatoes of studios these days, and American Reunion also goes the Fast Five route by bringing back the entire cast from the first movie. The film fizzled at the box office for a number of reasons, foremost would be that characters are thirty now, and there’s no innocence left to lose and there’s way less hope. Which means sex-hijinks are not as much fun. Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Chris Klein and many more return for the film, and our review of American Reunion on Blu-ray follows after the jump.

seann-william-scott-jason-biggs-american-reunion-imageAs with the last film Jim (Biggs) and Michelle (Hannigan) are still married, but as the start of the film suggests, they have a kid and that kid has led them to be more interested in masturbation than sex. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is an architect who works from home because his wife is more successful than he is. Oz (Klein) is a sports anchor and former reality show dance contestant who’s dating a model (Katrina Bowden), while Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) has been mysterious about what he’s been up to. Stifler (Scott) is an intern at a big firm, and on the border of being a complete wash-out. There’s a late reunion happening and the group go, and Jim and Michelle plan to use the trip as a chance to rekindle their sex life. This is complicated by getting older, as Jim’s next door neighbor Kara (Ali Corbin) is inexplicably attracted to Jim.

All the boys have their little mysteries or problems. Kevin runs into Vicky (Tara Reid) and they both have been checking in on each other on Facebook, so there’s some tension. Oz sees Heather (Mena Suvari) is with a new guy, but they both have feelings for each other. The young girl Kara has a jerky boyfriend who Stiffler gets to mess with, while Finch meets a girl but the truth about his adventuring will be revealed. There’s also Jim’s Dad (Eugene Levy) and Stiffler’s Mom (Jennifer Coolidge), and they are the bright spot of the film.

american-reunion-blu-raySeriously, it took four movies to get them to think about putting together two Christopher Guest vets? When the two are on screen together the film comes alive in ways it doesn’t with the other characters. As everyone is thirty-ish, with many having sucky jobs, it’s just not as much fun to go back to the well. Not helping things is that only Seann William Scott seems to have matured into a real performer (though you’re better off watching him in Goon). And it’s a great idea to bring everyone back for the poster, but – even with the conceit of the reunion – many of these performers show up to deliver a line or two and then mosey off. Though American Wedding has its problems, it was right to start ditching some of the characters. Finding out that certain characters have become losers (most of them) isn’t that entertaining, nor is it all that fun to watch people who have become bored having sex with each other again.

Jason Biggs deserves credit for doing nudity, and as a sex comedy they mostly just get younger girls to take off their tops and that works against the film as they come across as barely legal, barely consenting adults. This is a harmless film, but as a comedy it’s just not that funny.

Universal’s Blu-ray comes with a DVD and digital copy, and the film is presented in both a rated and unrated cut (difference: 59 seconds). The film is presented widescreen (1.78:1) and in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Comedies are rarely show off material, but this looks to match the theatrical experience. The set is loaded with additional material: There are seven deleted scenes (8 min.), thirteen extended scenes (26 min.), alternate takes (4 min.) and a gag reel (4 min.). That’s a lot, and none of it is all that good. The film comes with a commentary track by writer/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schossberg, and an “Out of Control Track” which has the five guys and Hannigan saying things about making the movie. There’s a making of called “The Reunion Reunion” (11 min.) which covers the basics, “The Best of Biggs: Hanging with Jason B.” (4 min.) gives the lead his moment to be painfully unfunny behind the scenes moments, “Lake Bake” (5 min.) talks about how hot a location was, “Dancing with the Oz” (3 min.) spotlights Klein, there’s a piece on the genital-hurting-centric fight scene (4 min.), a piece on Eugene Levy (3 min.) and a piece on how the boys would slap each other’s balls on set (2 min.). There’s also an interactive piece that lets you look at clips from the previous movies through the character you’re interested in.

Latest News