How does one even begin to formulate coherent criticism concerning a film that is so undeserving of the two hours you spent watching it, let alone the time after to draft a review?
American Reunion is the fourth film in the American Pie franchise (there have been about a dozen straight-to-DVD American Pie’s, none of which are relevant to these more popular Pies) and nothing at all has changed. The characters are still exactly the same, making the same mistakes yet finding the easiest ways out, and the movies themselves remain laughably bland, laced with humor that is based entirely on homophobia, the male reproductive organ, the female reproductive organ, and human excrement.
Jim is still jerking off into tube socks, Stiffler is still… Stiffler, Oz is still a brain dead hunk, Finch is still a pontificating douche, Jim’s Dad is still awkward, and the rest of the characters (whose names I don’t care to recall) are still set in their cookie cutter ways.
For this go ‘round, the gang returns to their old town for their 13th high school reunion (13th because, apparently, the school “couldn’t get their shit together in time for the 10th reunion,” i.e., the studio didn’t think people would still give a shit about American Pie in 2009. But it’s 2012, so why not?!), and hours haven’t gone by before they are getting themselves into all sorts of trouble and, you know, driving drunk, naked, barely legal girls all over town, and shitting into beer coolers (this is no sarcastic exaggeration, a beer cooler is literally shat into, which proves to be about as funny as watching a guy drink semen or get pissed on).
Look, bottom line, if you liked American Pie (which I did), then you may enjoy American Reunion. If you liked American Pie 2 and American Wedding, then American Reunion will be your favorite film of 2012. Me? Having settled into the notion of pointless Hollywood remakes/rehashes/rethinkings/sequels/whatevers years ago, I can’t hate on the fact that directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg (whose only other directed feature is the much lauded Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay) fought to get another American Pie made. The film has done decent at the box office, so I’m sure we can expect a few more of these ventures before American Retirement Home is released 30 or so years from now.
Has anyone ever seen Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant? The film is basically a series of events in which an absurd, and absurdly corrupted, cop (played flawlessly by Nicolas Cage) gets himself deeper and deeper into shit, which will certainly end with his demise. In one brief sequence in that film, every single problem Cage has is made better within a matter of seconds. The corruption charges against him are dropped. The thug he ruffed up admits he no longer has beef with him, his girlfriend is going to be okay, his drug abusing isn’t going to be uncovered – everything. The scene is ingenious in its absurdity, and you cannot help but laugh at the intentionally bullshit scenario.
Why then do people not call bullshit on a movie like American Reunion? A movie that spends an hour and 45 minutes putting its characters in sticky situations that they cannot explain, only to have every single last one of their wrongs righted in the last 10 minutes of the film. Herzog knew what he was doing, and you’re supposed to laugh at his purposeful hyperbolic irony. But with American Reunion, we’re supposed to smile wide and leave the theater feeling good about ourselves? I call bullshit. D-