Runtime: 1 Hour
and 44 Minutes
It isn't surprising that I approached this film with a certain amount
of trepidation. The first one, after all, was a movie that totally
shocked me by being far funnier than a film like that has a right
to be. Not only that, but it was actually well-written and portrayed
its teenage characters as something a bit more substantial than the
usual high school caricatures. So I figured that they would make up
for that by totally blowing it in "American Pie 2".
Thankfully, however, I was wrong.
"American Pie 2" reunites all the major actors (Hell, ALL
the actors, they even lured back "The Shermanator" and Casey
Affleck to do another cameo as Kevin's older brother) and brings back
the screenwriter for another serving of teenage/college student hormones
run amok. The first one was pretty much spot on in examining the pleasures
and mostly pitfalls that befall adolescent males and females. Well,
the second one does an eerily accurate job of detailing how those
same interests are put under strain by college and the awkwardness
of hanging out in the summer with people who are too busy with school
the rest of the year.
Two years finds our characters older but not necessarily wiser. Jim
(Jason Biggs) is still attempting to get into the pants of every woman
around him. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is still hung up on Vicki
(Tara Reid). Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is now into Eastern practices
and obsessed with Stiffler's mom. Oz and Heather (Chris Klien and
Mena Suvari) are still completely in love. And Stiffler (Seann William
Scott) still wants to nail anything that moves.
The great thing about both of these movies is their healthy attitude
toward sex. And the amount of respect they have toward their female
characters. The women in a movie like this are a lot more than just
walking tit jokes, and that is a refreshing change of pace. In fact,
they still get back the men in the movie in at least one scene of
both movies, preying on their horniness for their own amusement. In
the last movie, that was done in the Nadia on the internet scene.
In this one, there is a scene involving two women who may or may not
be lesbians that brings down the house in much the same way. It even
involves public humiliation.
Every scene in this movie, in fact, has an antecedent in the first
one. But it doesn't just coast along, recycling every joke as in the
damn Austin Powers sequel (Ugh! That piece of shit!). No, the way
it's done in this film reminded me of a Bond film. At certain points
in a Bond film, you just expect a certain thing to happen. You know
what I mean: the dinner with the villain scene, the opening action
sequence, the big finish. Here you get the following structure: the
opening scene in which Jim is humiliated via parental discovery, the
party at Stiffler's house in which Stiffler becomes the butt of a
joke, the big scene where women humiliate at least one man publicly,
and the final big party or Prom in which people are hoping to get
laid. But the screenwriter Adam Herz knows how to put a fresh spin
on the material and wrings a LOT of laughs out of it.
All of the actors do a wonderful job here also: Eugene Levy, Jason
Biggs, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Allyson
Hannigan (great as the band geek again, and with more screen time),
Shannon Elizabeth (looking odd this time), Tara, Mena, and all the
others. The writing is great, the laughs are just as big, the characters
are still not just caricatures, and Allyson Hannigan is just a sweetie...a
sweetie who likes to masturbate with a flute, but still.
If you're on the fence: just go already. If you liked the first one,
you're guaranteed to have a good time here too.