American Pie 2


American Pie 2Starring:
Jason Biggs as Jim
Eugene Levy as Jim’s Dad
Chris Klein as Chris ‘Oz’ Ostreicher
Seann William Scott as Steve Stifler
Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin
Eddie Kaye Thomas as Paul Finch
Shannon Elizabeth as Nadia
Alyson Hannigan as Michelle
Tara Reid as Vicky
Mena Suvari as Heather
Natasha Lyonne as Jessica
Chris Owen as Chuck Sherman
Jennifer Coolidge as Stifler’s Mom

The entire gang is back after their first year of college in this worthy sequel to the 1999 tale of a group of high-schoolers looking shed their virginity.

Returning home from their first year at college, the guys – Jim, Oz, Finch, Kevin and Stifler – pack up and head to a rented lake house for the summer. Each is on a separate quest. For Jim, it’s trying once again to bed the exchange student Nadia, who plans to join him at the lake following a sightseeing stint. Oz must cope with Heather’s summer studying abroad in Europe. Finch is still hung up on Stifler’s mom and begins studying Tantra (a Far-Eastern philosophy related to channeling sexual energy) in hopes of getting reacquainted with her. Kevin must deal with being back in Vicky’s life, but only as a friend. Finally, the foul-mouth Stifler is just looking for some action after a run of botched attempts.

American Pie 2 is rated R for language, nudity and sexual content.

What Worked:
The fact the entire cast from the first American Pie is back for the encore will be a large factor in the success of the new film. Everyone does an excellent job of falling back into character as though the sequel and its predecessor were filmed back-to-back. Eugene Levy is a corker as Jim’s dad, truly making the best of his limited screen time. The story is really about Jason Biggs’ Jim character more than anything else, but the others in the ensemble make for much more than simply window dressing. Biggs is great in his Jim reprisal. He also is proving to be a very effective physical actor as evident by the ‘glue’ scene. Allyson Hannigan is as cute as ever as the spacey band geek Michelle, who Jim seeks advise from on hope to improve his sexual technique.

Most of the one-liners in the film belong to Seann Williams Scott’s Stifler, who delivers them with the subtly and grace you’d expect from him.

What Didn’t Work:
I had a hard time finding much that truly didn’t work in American Pie 2. The movie does start out a bit slow, but that is mainly a function of trying to get the audience reacquainted with all of the players. Some of the gross-out gags are… well, gross! Not to give too much away, but there are gags involving urine and a trumpet a few may think are over the top.

The story is somewhat predictable, but you’re not really going to see this movie for the story, are you? It is not a tale for the young ones; there is plenty of language and nudity involved here, so you may want to leave the PG crowd at home.

In the end, American Pie 2 reunites its young ensemble cast in an entertaining romp that has everything from a mentally-challenged trombone player to lesbian sex. Is it as good as the original? I’d say yes. It would be a good exercise to pop the first one into the old DVD player and have a laugh prior to seeing the sequel. That way you’ll have a greater respect for more of the subtler jokes in the film… from the treat Jim’s mom brings to him in the film’s opening to the triumphant return of Stifler’s little brother.