American Pie 2
Universal
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 10, 2001
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The Movie:

It's rare that a sequel is an improvement over the original - these days, it seems like anything that makes any decent amount of money is instantly greenlighted for a sequel, but mainly, the result is not only more expensive, but less successful. I was never a huge fan of the original "American Pie", a raunchy teen-sex comedy that took the box office by storm in the Summer of 1999 - simply because it used my least favorite form of comedy, which is simply finding new ways to humiliate the main character.

A bland main character it is, as well. Jason Biggs's rise to lower-level stardom was propelled by the original's success, but I've never found him to be an engaging actor either comedically or dramatically - and I wouldn't know about drama, since Biggs has never attempted such a project. Luckily, the focus of the sequel shifts to the other characters a bit more and takes the spotlight off of Biggs's Jim. Most entertainingly, Stiffler (Seann William Scott) has a much bigger part here and also leads several of the movie's funniest sequences. Rarely have I seen an actor so joyfully and hilariously use profanity; Stiffler seems to use the f-word as punctuation to every other sentence or even a greeting.

Also joining once again are Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Oz (Chris Klein), and Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas). The guys have returned home from college, but there's really nothing for them to do - and they certainly don't want to be those guys that hang out with the high school kids when they return home from college. Kevin takes some advice from his brother (Casey Affleck returns) and rents out a cabin for the guys to live in all Summer. The girls from the original movie return, but in limited form - Heather (Mena Suvari) is having a long-distance relationship with Oz from France; Vicky (Tara Reid) and Kevin have moved on, but are staying friends; Jim expects a return from Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), but takes some lessons from Michelle(Alyson Hannigan) and last but not least, Finch awaits the return of Stiffler's mom, much to the horror of Stiffler himself.

The first picture had some entertaining jokes, but I felt that there was quite a great deal of space between some of the funnier jokes. For the sequel, writer Adam Herz pretty much abandons the idea of plot and goes for the jokes. Admittedly, there's nothing terribly sophisticated about any of the jokes that you'll find in "American Pie 2", but there are at least some inspired moments that brought some big laughs. I didn't think there'd be much hope for "Pie 2", considering that JB Rodgers (the very mediocre "Say It Isn't So") was brought on to direct and there didn't seem to be much more to go with the characters, the film is a pleasantly hysterical suprise.


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