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Review: American Reunion

April 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

Sequels to successful movies are commonplace and should even be expected if the material being used allows for it. They usually come a few years apart, but we're starting to see a trend in Hollywood that has sequels of dormant franchises popping back up several years after its original. That's the case with American Reunion, which is one of the sequels to the 1999 movie American Pie.

The gang from American Pie is back and this time they're getting together for their high school reunion. Most of these guys haven't kept in touch, so they'll be interested in hanging out for that purpose alone. Over the course of one weekend, they'll reconnect with old friends and maybe even old romances.The friends reunite and reminisce about the fun times that used to have together, but they're also dealing with adult life and where it has taken each of them.

One of the themes that's constantly pointed out in this movie was about growing up and maturing. I think that might have been something that added to some of the movies failures. American Reunion seemed to play it too safe through most of it and some of the shenanigans that might be expected are missing. I understand wanting it to feel different, because of the ages of the characters, but this is just a watered down version of what I was expecting.

They actually tried to get serious on more than one occasion and it failed miserably every time. The worst part about these scenes happen to be the music playing in the background to go with the sub par acting. That was some of the worst dramatic music that I've ever heard before to be honest. It made the movie even cheesier than it already was.

The attempts at melodrama should have been completely left out of the film and they should have replaced it with more attempts at getting laughs. The only problems with that come from the fact that the comedy that they actually used wasn't really that funny. With that being the case, there's a chance that more comedy could have been bad for the movie.

American Reunion contains very little laughs for the audience to experience. I was bored watching it and it appears that almost everyone involved in the film's creation might have been bored while they were creating it. Most of the actors looked like they didn't care too much and some looked completely disinterested. The acting in this movie is not very good at all and less than a hand full of them seemed to put any real effort into their performances. Maybe the rest of them realized that it wasn't worth trying after reading the script?

To go with the lifeless acting, American Reunion is filled with cliché after cliché and that just made matters worse. The story itself is literally a formula that's been used for as long as I can remember. There's so many things going on that reminded me of some of those t.v. shows that I used to watch when I was a kid. They didn't just go way back to dig up a dead franchise, they went back to the first half of the 1990′s to dig up parts of their story from television.

The guys who directed this are the same guys that wrote all three (and directed the first sequel) of the Harold and Kumar movies. You can see the same gradual drop off in those films that you'll witness here. The films suffer overall, because of the lack of innovation and creativity that's needed for the style of comedy that's meant to shock you. Whenever you have several years between sequels to develop material, you should be able to come up with something better than what they've brought to the big screen.

Fans of the series may be able to find some good in this installment though. Seeing what their favorite characters have been up to may be rewarding for them, but I don't know if there would be too much more to hang on to. This would be especially true for people who aren't fans to begin with. If you're not a fan, then this one won't change your mind and it will probably be something that you'll want to skip altogether. There are a few decent scenes, but there's nothing memorable or anything that offers much quality.

In actuality, American Reunion is an attempt to milk a few extra dollars out of a franchise that is clearly on its last legs. When the original was released in 1999, it had a certain quality that some would enjoy due to it being something that hadn't been seen to that extent. With all of the zany and wacky movies out there that feature grotesque comedy nowadays, this franchise doesn't appear to be as outlandish as it once did. That obviously hurts it and the fact that there didn't seem to be much effort put into it doesn't help matters either.

You can say that this film franchise suffered the same fate that Playboy magazine did. I imagine that Playboy was way more popular when it debuted and it was the only game in town. I think it declined once people who were interested in that stuff gained other options and were able to see the same things and then some in other places. It will be hard (no pun intended) for anyone to compete and stay relevant in that situation if they can't present anything new. I think that's what happened with American Reunion.

You don't have to be a genius to know why this movie was made, but it wasn't needed and I don't think there were that many people clamoring for it. I seriously hope that there aren't anymore sequels to this franchise that is beloved by its fans. I feel that way, because they don't appear to have much else to work with. If they do return for another one, it should be called American Funeral, because they truly need to let this entire franchise rest in peace.

Score: 1.5/5

Rating: R

Directors: Jon Hurwitz Hayden Schlossberg

Cast: Jason Biggs Alyson Hannigan Seann William Scott Chris Klein Thomas Ian Nicholas Eddie Kaye Finch Eugene Levy Mena Suvari Tara Reid Dania Ramirez Jennifer Coolidge Shannon Elizabeth Katrina Bowden

Film Length: 110 minutes

Release Date: April 6, 2012

Distributor: Universal Pictures

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