This weekend we saw the fourth theatrical instalment of the American Pie franchise (I am lost if we include the straight to DVD releases). It was quite an easy choice as to what to see as we kind of grew up following these characters, and their situations and thoughts are generally what we were thinking at that age. It was rather uncanny to see them now, and their new situations, to how my life seems to be playing out. In the film friends are beginning to settle down and live life through boring jobs. This is the same for most people when they reach their late twenties I'm sure. If you are in the right age bracket this film is highly relatable.
The film starts off with a typical masturbation joke involving our hero Jim, although this time it is slightly different as he could easily have sex with his wife but instead he would rather do his own business. From there we are re-introduced to the main leads from the original series, and yes they are all here. There is a huge difference from where they are now to where we left them and it almost feels like they aren't the same characters. A reunion is set up for those of their year so the four main guys, Jim, Oz, Kevin and Finch, decide to meet early in order for a catch up. They just fail to invite one important member. The film automatically takes a huge step up once this character hits the screen.
When Stiffler is introduced he embarks on his usual journey through a room full of people, charming the pretty girls, putting down the ugly ones, breaking the heart of the geek and stealing someone's drink, however this time it isn't at a party but in a work place. He strolls into an office and his life seems great, that is until his boss walks in and gives him what for. For a change Stiffler is bottom of the predatory rung. He is instantly introduced as the only member of the gang who hasn't grown up, and that escalates when he bumps into the guys in a bar, gets them horrendously drunk, and cause Jim to wake up half naked in his kitchen. Let's put it this way Jason Biggs is a brave, brave man.
The old gang may be back but it is the same few that drive the entire story. If it wasn't for Jim, Stiffler and Jim's Dad the film would fail. They are the ones that bring the laughs, where as the others bring nothing much. The formula for the film is the same. Jim finds himself in a sticky situation, his Dad is highly embarrassing, and Finch winds up Stiffler about his Mother. The film is generic in those terms but does bring something different to the table even if it isn't new. The laughs start slow and it took a good twenty minutes before the cinema was in hysterics, and once the ball gets rolling there are some really good moments. Once again though the humour does only come from the three I've already mentioned.
It is a decent film. It isn't as good as the first two instalments but it doesn't do the franchise any harm. There is something different about them being older but it is nice to see where they have got to from where they started. We are reminded throughout of moments from the previous efforts, which at times can become annoying as the jokes become repetitive, but there is one great joke that is given a brilliant twist at the end and also the end credit scene is worth sticking around for. If you were a big fan of the franchise than you need to see this film. It may be an average comedy film for those who aren't familiar with the characters but if you are it is nice to see where we will finally leave them, hopefully.
Pros: You can never get enough of the main characters. Still some good humour to remember and quote.
Cons: Slightly generic but is a fourth instalment. Also Tara Reid cannot act!!
6 / 10
Top 10 of 2012 so far:
1. The Hunger Games 8 / 10
2. Avengers Assemble 7.5 / 10
3. 21 Jump Street 7.5 / 10
4. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
5. The Grey 7 / 10
6. American Reunion 6 / 10
7. Safe House 6 / 10
8. The Raven 6 / 10
9. Contraband 6 / 10
10. The Cabin In The Woods 5.5 / 10