Time passes quickly, this is very clear in the fourth installment(Not including the straight to DVD messes). Everyone is back, even minor characters have returned. We’re back following our leads, Jim(Jason Biggs), Oz(Chris Klein), Finch(Eddie Kaye Thomas), Kevin(Thomas Ian Nicholas) and Stifler(Seann William Scott) as they all come back home for a delayed high school reunion, which of course leads to booze and shenanigans. It’s amazing that the first American Pie came out in 1999. That film is a comedy classic, it just is, the characters are hilarious and it nailed high school in the 90’s perfectly. The sequel is a great vacation movie, and still very fun it doesn’t match up to the first. The third film sadly fails, American Wedding has some good laughs but at that time not all of the cast wanted to be involved. Most of the actors from the franchise haven’t exactly had booming careers. So it’s clear why everyone came back for this film.
What is very fun is the directors this time around are Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg who made Harold and Kumar 2 are behind Reunion. Unlike the crazy Harold and Kumar films this one is very grounded. The best thing about it is how grounded it is at first. All these guys are in their thirties. This time period in life is weird and the movie hits this perfectly. Some guys are married, some have kids, some can’t let the past be the past. A very fun arch is Jim’s, in the first film he was struggling to get laid, now married with a kid he’s finding himself having the same problem. Amazingly though the character with the biggest arch is Stifler, he has to realize that the young party days are over and it’s actually very impressive how they pull it off.
Now of course there are gross jokes here, some nudity, and just over all a large amount of sex jokes across the board. Nothing seems too extreme here. Jim’s major problem is a girl he used to baby sit just turned eighteen and wants him to be her first. This of course leads to some very tense situations. This movie isn’t a laugh riot but when it hits, it hits.
Problem is not every character can be fleshed out in a film like this. Oz’s character is paper thin even when they give him an extremely hot girl friend. Kevin is a stay at home husband and his run in with Vicky(Tara Reid) is short and barely used like it should have been. Finch does have a twist or two in his character that really helps the movie move along and end on a high note.
In the end if you’re a fan of the American Pie movies, you’ll like this film. It does not work as a stand alone comedy, most of the jokes are connected to the first film. Still it does it’s job, it’s not just a reunion for the characters, it’s for everyone. I couldn’t help but suddenly remember 1999 and high school. I miss it just as much as the characters in the film do. Oh and yeah if you’re wondering… Stifler’s mom makes an appearance.