American Pie 2 Review

Courtesy Of Odeon Cinemas Southend/Chelmsford, Raphael Pour-Hashemi has reviewed the theatrical release of American Pie 2.

A funny sequel to last year’s summer teen hit that is better than the first and set to be even bigger in terms of box office.

Jim, Nadia, Michelle, Stifler, Finch, Kevin, Vicky, Oz, Jessica, Heather and Jim’s Dad are all back! And if this means anything to you, then you will no doubt jump for joy as the long awaited sequel to the summer hit of 1999 – American Pie is finally here.

The boys have grown up, or at least officially aged a little since their last outing, and have just finished their freshman year in college. The boys are still as thick as thieves, but most of their relationships with the opposite sex still require much attention. Kevin, inspired by his older brother’s antics in his old college days, decides to render the summer vacation the best ever, and he convinces the other four that they should move to the lakes for the summer and party endlessly. However, the usual problems ensue – Jim, anxious to gain more sexual experience, is unnerved by the announcement that Nadia will visit him soon; Finch is deeply hung up about Stifler’s mother and turns to the Buddhist art of Tantra in order to woo her; Oz’s relationship with Heather has lost its intimacy due to her having to study abroad for the summer; Kevin is hung up about Vicky and cannot accept her newly found sexual prowess; and Stifler’s taken his personality to the extreme in the most annoying way possible.

American Pie 2 is essentially a slightly altered remake of the first movie, but is better because the audience is extremely familiar with the characters and situations of American Pie and thus the film’s entirety can be devoted to comedy and not establishment. Also, the jokes aren’t as puerile and precocious as the first movie’s. That said, there is a fairly hilarious moment in which Stifler and someone else’s urine are joined in unison.

What is very noticeable about American Pie 2 is just how different in ages the cast actually are. Chris Klein has managed to transform from a bashful, dumb-looking cuteboy to an awkward-looking, geeky adult. Tara Reid and Mena Suvari appear way too old for the boys, and there is no way they would hang out in the same circles in reality. However, the cast still performs well together, and Sean Williams Scott as Stifler and Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad are once again the standouts from a relatively good bunch.

The screenplay by Adam Herz is spot on with regards to teen comedy for the first two acts of the film but at exactly the one hour point the comedy seems to stop dead and is replaced almost instantly by Dawson’s Creek-esque melodrama. What is so refreshing about American Pie 2 that puts that horrible television series to shame is that it doesn’t pander to the audience and cop out by letting the most attractive boys and girls win.

The soundtrack to the film is also a standout, featuring tracks such as Weezer’s Hash Pipe, Alien Ant Farm’s cover of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal and American Hi-Fi’s Flavor Of The Weak. However, do not rush out to buy the soundtrack CD, as it features none of these highlights (In the same vein as American Pie CD soundtrack didn’t contain Barenaked Ladies’ One Week). That said, the actual movie soundtrack is very frenetically paced and ensures the nice ticking over of the plot.

In a nutshell, if you loved American Pie and memorised the jokes (and become one of those annoying people who endlessly imitate them in public) you’ll love American Pie 2 even more. If you haven’t seen the original, you might need your best friend to fill you in on a few things before seeing the sequel. Even so, American Pie 2 knows it limits and yet still manages to be one of the funniest and feel-good teen hits of the summer. God Bless The Internet.

Raphael Pour-Hashemi

Updated: Sep 27, 2001

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