American Pie 2, much like the original, is not as good of a gross-out movie as Something About Mary but is not as bad as the other low-brow movies out there. The American Pies just kind of fall in the middle…hilarious in places, dull in others. AP2 is not as good as the original in my opinion. Instead of giving equal face time to each of the characters like the original did, this movie centers on Jim (Jason Biggs), the band camp girl Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Stifler (Sean William Scott) mostly. Although these are central characters, the other characters should have been given more to do in this movie.
Jim and Michelle constitute the serious side of this movie with Jim having a few hilarious spots here and there involving himself and his dad. Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) is coming back to town after everyone's first year of college. Jim needs to prepare for Nadia because she is making it abundantly clear that she wants him. So Jim consults Michelle on whether he was a good lay or not from the last movie and she tells him he wasn't, but that she's willing to teach him how to be better. Do you kind of see where this side of the story is headed toward the end? This is another problem with this movie…the story is too well laid out for anyone to now know what's going to happen next.
Stifler and Finch constitute the rest of the hilarity of the movie. If there was only more of Stifler and Finch in the rest of the characters. Stifler is still pissed at Finch for doing his mother and Finch is still obsessed with Stifler's mom. He's so obsessed that he spends the summer building all of his erotic juices through Tantric teachings for when Stifler's mom shows up again. Stifler gets into and creates many hilarious scenes. He is the shining star in this movie and it's too bad the other actors couldn't be written to his level.
The rest of the gang are here: Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Vicky (Tara Reid), Heather (Mena Suvari) and, of course, Jim's dad (Eugene Levy). The problem is they have little to no face time in this movie. Suvari is easily the most distant of them, only being seen twice in a radius of another character and mostly on the phone while she and Oz try to do some phone sex. Kevin, in his astute ways, calls his brother and hears about how his brother and his had the best time ever at a cabin and that they learned what was truly important (this is much like the book Kevin found that his brother left for him in the original). So, the guys go to the cabin and spend the summer there partying and doing things both hilarious (for Stifler and Jim) and dumb (everyone else). In the end, Kevin learns what is truly important in their lives and that he can have Vicky as a friend. It's just too bad most of the characters had no development in this movie or it would have been better.
Had this movie been written better I think I would have liked it more. I still like the movie, it just wasn't as good as I thought it would be.
Video: This 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is very good. I didn't notice any defects at all during this movie. It certainly did not seem as dark in transfer as the original did. The movie seemed rather bright really.
Sound: Offered in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1. The DTS track is, as usual, a richer sounding track than the Dolby Digital one. The emphasis on sound in this movie is in the music found throughout the film. The very beginning song by Blink 182 shows the difference between DD and DTS, the DTS track is by far the cleaner and richer sounding of the two. This movie is not very sound intensive outside of the music though and certainly isn't going to win any awards in sound.
Menus: The menus are very bad in my opinion. There is no animation in them. You switch between options and the menu will jerk and a picture of a character will change profile and Jim's dad on the right will also change profile. It would have been cool if there was actual animation in-between those two profile changes and not the jerkiness of the switch. Much like the original, the menu is very bland, but easy to navigate.
Extras: The extras are not ground-breaking in any way, shape or form, but there are some interesting parts
Commentaries: There are 4 commentaries on this DVD. One is with the director J.B. Rogers, another with with actors Mena Suvari, Jason Biggs and Thomas Ian Nicholas, another by actor Eddie Kaye Thomas and then finally one with writer/producer Adam Herz. I have yet to have time to go through this movie again, much less 4 more times.
Outtakes: This is about 5 ˝ minutes of outtakes. They are very hilarious and the one that really stands out involves Jim, Nadia and Michelle.
Deleted Scenes: 10 ˝ minutes of deleted scenes. None of them seemed to mesh with the story presented in the movie. And one of the final ones was way out there with all the guys in the high school library. Many were drawn out scenes that I'm glad they cut.
The Baking of American Pie 2: A 24 minute behind the scenes look at the movie. The interviews are interesting and this gives away a little too much about the movie. Then again, the way the movie is written you should easily know what's going to happen in the end.
Good Times with the Cast and Crew: Another behind-the-scenes montage of clips
Your Favorite Piece of Pie: Voted on by internet users, these are the top 10 scenes from both films together
Music Video: 3 Doors Down, "Be Like That". For all the songs, that's the only one. There had to be other Universal artists in this movie.
Music Highlights: Jump directly to music in the movie. This is a great extra considering all the music in this movie.
Theatrical Trailer: The theatrical trailer with a short introduction by Jason Biggs.
Final Thoughts: Not as good as the original, but still hit more than miss, American Pie 2 should satisfy your appetite. If this movie was better written and involved all the characters it would be an excellent film. There is good deal of extras in this release and that's another reason to buy it. I recommend it with a warning that you may not like this over the original.