Let me make a statement that, like a penis penetrating a warm apple pie, is anything but subtle and also kind of surprising: “American Reunion” is the best installment of this raunchy franchise since the 1999 original.
Is this something of a backhanded compliment, considering the second film was a letdown, the third was unwatchable, and the subsequent direct-to-DVD flicks simply went unwatched? Sure. “Reunion,” nonetheless, has some damn funny moments. Those moments are too often broken up with stretches of needless character development and stilted acting (try taking Tara Reid seriously at this point — I dare you), but when writer/directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg dial into what made the original such a hoot, “American Reunion” delivers the belly laugh-inducing goods. Here are five reasons to check it out this weekend.
The Gang Is Back Together
It’s been over a decade since Jason Biggs and Seann William Scott were downing beers and ogling breasts alongside Chris Klein. For those counting along at home, 3,892 days have passed since Reid last tantalized Thomas Ian Nicholas with her version of droopy-lidded sensuality. “Reunion,” as the title helpfully implies, brings the whole crew back together, and ya know what? We missed ’em.
Speaking of things we missed, welcome back Oz! Klein’s particular comedic gifts, such as they are, remain perfectly suited to playing the soft-hearted jock. This time around, he’s a hotshot sports-news anchor who became a household name on a “Dancing with the Stars” knockoff known to adoring fans as the “Dance-Off.” Midway through the film, we get an extended and quite amusing look at the show — Oz’s shameless pop-and-lock moves and the emcee stylings of Neil Patrick Harris. As we’ve learned from the “Harold & Kumar” trilogy, a little NPH in our cinematic lives is a very, very good thing.
NPH isn’t the only familiar face to pop up briefly in “Reunion.” We forgot Harold himself — otherwise known as John Cho — was a three-time “Pie” franchise player until he appeared toward the end of the movie, haunted by his days as a MILF-loving screwball. We can’t say we missed the Sherminator, but he’s back too. At least Natasha Lyonne returns as well. And lest you think Shannon Elizabeth’s sexpot Euro gal is nowhere to be seen, Hurwitz and Schlossberg make sure to sneak her into the mix in a clever way.
Eugene Levy, Dog
The man with the funniest eyebrows in Hollywood history is the best. The. Best. We’ll pause here, briefly, to consider his killer turns in “Splash,” “Armed and Dangerous” and Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries. Ahhh, good stuff. In “Reunion,” Levy gets to flex more comedic muscle than he has at any point in the “Pie” series. When Levy tokes up a J and starts to put the moves on Stifler’s mom, we got a contact high.
Jason Biggs’ Ween
Honestly, I’m adding this one in only because my colleague, Josh Wigler, asked me to, which says as much about his A-plus editorial judgment as it does about his admirable sense of (bathroom) humor. We won’t spoil the reveal, as it were, but Biggs doffs his trousers at one point and displays his manhood to the world. Ballsy, Mr. Biggs, ballsy.
Are you seeing “American Reunion” this weekend? Tell us in the comments section or hit us up on Twitter!