Friday, 3 May 2013

American Pie 2 (2001)

The gang all return for another outing involving a quest for some sexual adventures and if you liked American Pie there's no reason for you not to enjoy this sequel. It doesn't veer too far from the template of the first movie - this time an epic party is the ultimate goal as opposed to virginity loss - and all of your favourite characters are back to do what they do best (which is, mainly, get into embarrassing situations).

Set out as "the same, but different," this movie also shows Jim (Jason Biggs), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Vicky (Tara Reid) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) trying to draw a line in the sand between their youth and adulthood. Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is once again on hand to help out and Stifler (Seann William Scott) is once again on hand to abuse and irritate everyone. Oh, and Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) is also due to return to cause Jim some . . . . . . . . . anxiety.

Adam Herz is back as the main writer while J. B. Rogers takes over the directing duties for this particular slice of pie. Both men take the easy option of following the template of the first movie and the end result is very entertaining, if also completely unsurprising. The soundtrack cues are fashioned in exactly the same manner, the laughs are fairly steady in between the few fantastic set-pieces, there's some nudity here and there and Jim is always at the centre of the biggest disasters. Familiarity can indeed breed contempt, but here it makes for a shorthand that keeps viewers happy while the characters progress through the next stage of their lives.

Jason Biggs and Eugene Levy get the lion's share of the laughs and they make the most of every comedic moment. Levy may need to do little more than raise an eyebrow or two, but Biggs throws his whole body around for maximum effects. Sean William Scott spits out more and more crude insults and Eddie Kaye Thomas tries to be even smoother and more laid-back than he was in the first film. Alyson Hannigan is still sweet and funny, Shannon Elizabeth is still stunningly gorgeous and the others (Klein, Reid, Nicholas, etc. etc.) do okay when involved in group scenes, but waste screen-time when the focus is on their separate story-lines.

It does exactly what fans will want it to do, for better or worse, and makes for a worthy sequel that keeps the laughs coming from start to finish.


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