American Reunion, the eighth film in the American Pie series, premiered in theaters on April 5. With heavily clichéd characters and plot, American Reunion is entirely too reliant on the original trilogy to be relatable for most of its audience.
After a series of four incredibly subpar spin-off movies (including American Wedding, the last theatrical release in the franchise) this film was an attempt to revive the franchise.
While the spin-offs lack most of the original cast with the exception of Eugene Levy, American Reunion delivers with the return of most of the old cast along with some new additions.
The film certainly brings back old fans with the revival of old relationship conflicts between the former classmates. Stars Chris Klein and Mena Suvari, who both departed after American Pie 2, return with different romantic partners and their romance begins anew. Other conflicts occurred between Jason Biggs’ and Alyson Hannigan’s characters, who married in the last movie, and also between Thomas Ian Nicholas’ and Tara Reid’s characters, who were a couple in the first film.
The directors really did work to revive the franchise, but it is still a tired concept and the conflicts are really just continuations of the ones from the older movies. New viewers will undoubtedly miss out on the jokes whose punch lines rely on the older movies.
The humor is also mostly sour at this point, with toilet humor like defecating in a drink cooler and having sex with each other’s mothers. This worked for the first few movies and could actually have been somewhat charming, but at this point there should be more variation to stay fresh. That said, this is what viewers have come to expect of the American Pie series and as a result some might enjoy it for the absurdity of it all.
The movie does deliver on being a lighthearted spring comedy without many serious themes, but it fails to add much to the series into which it attempts to breathe new life.
While the characters are no longer supposed to be teenagers, it still fits into the teen comedy genre and therefore utilizes the clichés that go along with it. It’s a significantly better attempt than the four spin-offs preceding it, and if the directors try again they may just be able to continue on this path of improvement.