Written by: Darren Camponi
For the release of the newest slice of American Pie, American Pie: Reunion, Darren Camponi has reviewed every American Pie movie, including all of the straight-to-DVD movies. Starting from American Pie, the review for American Pie: Reunion is at the very bottom. Enjoy!
Director: Paul Weitz/Chris Weitz
Writer: Adam Herz
Producers: Chris Moore/Chris Weitz/Warren Zide/Craig Perry
Starring: Jason Biggs/Chris Klein/Natasha Lyonne/Thomas Ian Nicholas/Tara Reid/Mena Suvari/Eugene Levy/Seann William Scott
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 95 minutes
For the release of the brand-new sequel of the original American Pie trilogy (before the DVD sequels), I shall be reviewing ALL of the American Pie movies before the release of American Pie Reunion and we have a LOT of pie to get through as there are EIGHT slices and that’s including American Pie Reunion. So first off, we’ll start from where it all began with hormone-fuelled teenagers taking a pledge to lose their virginity as quick as they can. Obviously, since this is a teen comedy, you can find plenty of awkward moments that’ll make you cringe in your seat but at the same time, will make you laugh. The problem that American Pie has is that there has been quite a few movies that have done this story before like Porky’s but admittedly, American Pie does it quite differently. The characters are good, each with their own personality and each providing different types of comedy such as Jim bringing the awkward and cringeworthy scenes and Stifler bringing the raunchy, dirty lines.
It’s not just the comedy that makes American Pie a great teen comedy but it’s also the charm that it brings with it. Admittedly, it’s not the best teen comedy out there but it’s not far behind either and it definitely won’t be forgotten (unlike half of the straight-to-DVD sequels but we’ll get to those later). There are some unforgettable scenes such as the infamous pie scene and webcam-gate which will make you laugh and cringe at the same time. Seann William Scott and Jason Biggs are great as Stifler and Jim and the lovely Alysson Hannigan brings some laughs to the movie as well. Overall, as I have said before, American Pie is far from being the best teen comedy ever but it’s not the worst either and it will always be remembered. Yeah, okay, the script isn’t exactly a work of art and the story has been done so many times but American Pie is there to entertain and entertain it does.
I am quite the fan of the American Pie slices because it does the job of entertaining you (although you could argue that with some of the movies) and does provide laughter (again, you could argue). American Pie does just that and with some of the scenes, it’s just unforgettable and will always be one of those movies you’ll remember in years to come. This is a great teen comedy but if you’re looking for something that’s absolutely clever and witty, look elsewhere.
American Pie 2
Director: J.B. Rogers
Writer: Adam Herz/David H. Steinberg
Producers: Chris Moore/Warren Zide/Craig Perry/Chris Bender/Paul Weitz/Chris Weitz/Adam Weitz
Starring: Jason Biggs/Chris Klein/Thomas Ian Nicholas/Eddie Kaye Thomas/Seann William Scott/Shannon Elizabeth/Alyson Hannigan/Natasha Lyonne/Tara Reid/Mena Suvari/Eugene Levy
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 110 minutes
If the first slice wasn’t filling enough for you, then luckily enough there’s another slice to get your laughing gear around, however is there anything to laugh at in this sequel? The answer to the question is simple- Oh yeah! American Pie 2 isn’t somewhat of a good sequel even though there’s more laughs than the first movie, especially the first ten minutes. With more embarrassing scenes and more laughs, this sequel really does deliver. You’d think that with the second slice of pie, it couldn’t possibly work but it actually really does. The story isn’t as great as the first movie but it’s decent enough to entertain. The thing about the American Pie movies that people have to remember is that they weren’t made to be pieces of art but more to entertain and yet again, it does that. However, you can never forget your first slice.
Just like American Pie, American Pie 2 has that familiar story that’s been done before in teenage comedies and also, just like American Pie, American Pie 2 has some great scenes that won’t be forgotten so easily. Nothing has changed so much with American Pie 2 and although you could probably name better comedies, this one does the job of entertaining you as well as killing a couple of hours. The worst thing about the movie is the story but the characters are just as good as (if not better than) they were in the first movie. With some more great scenes from the gang and with a little help from Jim’s dad (played brilliantly by Eugene Levy, who is the only actor to star in every American Pie movie), American Pie 2 is a winner.
It’s not better than American Pie but it is better than some of the sequels. As I have said before, the thing that movies such as American Pie aim to do is make you laugh and entertain and it will not fail you on that part as there are more laughs but it will fail you if you’re looking for something with quality. In a lot of ways, American Pie 2 is just American Pie but it is able to stand on its own as a movie. There’s not much wrong with American Pie 2 but there’s definitely room for improvements. It’s good but it’s not great.
American Pie: The Wedding
Director: Jesse Dylan
Writer: Adam Herz
Producers: Chris Moore/Warren Zide/Craig Perry/Adam Herz/Chris Bender/Paul Weitz/Chris Weitz
Starring: Jason Biggs/Seann William Scott/Alyson Hannigan/Thomas Ian Nicholas/Eddie Kaye Thomas/January Jones/Fred Willard/Eugene Levy
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 103 minutes
We’re now on the third slice of American Pie and this slice is so much better than American Pie 2, arguably the weakest in the series. This time, we see Jim and Michelle become engaged and the whole gang return to plan their wedding with chaos and craziness and Stifler. If you think that the movie’s going to be more romance and less raunchy then think again, this is definitely still American Pie through and through and the gang haven’t calmed down just yet. The best thing about American Pie: The Wedding is that it’s taken a massive step up from American Pie 2 as there’s a lot more story and more character, although with this type of movie, that’s arguably not so important but it can help. Another great thing is that this revives the heart and charm that American Pie had that American Pie 2 didn’t. American Pie was all about reaching that milestone of becoming older whilst facing the challenges and pressures of losing their virginity which is something a lot of people can relate to. American Pie 2 was more about throwing a crazy party with hardly any character or charm behind it so it was nice to see that Hollywood saw where they went wrong and put it right.
The comedy in the movie is great if you like teenage comedy movies. This is more gross-out than American Pie 2 and also delivers more laughs. There’s a lot more story to this one than there was in the second movie and the characters have a lot more depth as well. Once again, the cast do a great job as their characters as we see them go through hilarious and yet cringing moments. Overall, American Pie: The Wedding is great and gives quite a few laughs for your money but it still doesn’t touch American Pie.
Fortunately for this series, American Pie: The Wedding saves the main series from disaster. American Pie 2 had lost the charm and heart that made us adore the first but luckily, they came back in this one. It’s good that there’s American Pie: Reunion as I’m pretty sure that those out there who were born in the 90s and remember the release of the first movie will probably feel nostalgic. However, before I review American Pie: Reunion, I will be reviewing the straight-to-DVD movies as well. American Pie: The Wedding is definitely one to watch.
American Pie presents Band Camp
Director: Steve Rash
Writer: Brad Riddell
Producers: Mike Elliott
Starring: Tad Hilgenbrinck/Arielle Kebbel/Eugene Levy/Matt Barr/Jun Hee Lee/Angela Little/Jason Earles/Chris Owen/Omar Benson Miller/Lily Mariye
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 87 minutes
Now we move onto the straight-to-DVD series for four movies but worry not as there are actually a couple of decent ones amongst them, this being one of them. In the straight-to-DVD movies, as you may have probably guessed, we don’t follow Jim, Stifler and the gang anymore but instead we follow the Stifler family members, in this one it’s Stifler’s younger brother who we see in American Pie and American Pie 2 and this time, he’s all grown up. He’ll have to face his biggest challenge yet as he’s been sent to band camp for sabotaging the school band. Now, from that line, you can probably guess how the movie will play out but there are some laugh out loud moments in the movie that make this worth watching. The characters lack the charm and the personality that the original cast had and unfortunately, this does affect the movie quite a bit.
Not only that but the story is a little bit lazy and has been done before. Of course, you could argue that the other American Pies I have reviewed have been done before as well but they were done with heart, charm and personality and this, quite frankly, must have been done for the money. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering it is undeniably entertaining and funny at times but because of this, it lacks what made us love the first movie in the first place. Overall, American Pie presents Band Camp is instantly forgettable, however it is pretty entertaining and can be funny at times.
This one isn’t an easy one to review because part of me liked it and yet part of me didn’t. Eugene Levy is the only actor to appear in every single American Pie movie and he is one of the reasons why this movie is funny. It’s a good comedy but it’s nothing like American Pie and shouldn’t really have the name as part of this movie’s title since the only thing that they both have in common is two characters and the name Stifler. It’s a good comedy but it definitely could be better by a long shot!
American Pie presents The Naked Mile
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Writer: Eric Lindsay
Producers: Joel Soisson/Keith Birder
Starring: John White/Jessy Schram/Steve Talley/Christopher McDonald/Eugene Levy
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 100 minutes
After the very mediocre Band Camp, would you expect anything better from The Naked Mile? No? Well, you’d be right not to as this is actually worse than Band Camp as it plays out in the same way. This time, we follow a different Stifler who is given a free pass from his girlfriend to have sex with any girl he wants for a weekend, he decides to go to see his cousin who runs a Beta House fraternity and is planning The Naked Mile, a tradition in which all of the students run either partially naked or in the full nude. Simply put, this is one of the worst movies of not only the straight-to-DVD series but also of the American Pie brand. To get an idea of what this movie is like, think American Pie but with flat characters and recycled jokes that aren’t funny. Don’t get me wrong, there were a couple of funny moments (such as the first five minutes) but overall, it’s not worth watching an hour and thirty minutes when you can just look up the moments on YouTube.
Yet again, just like Band Camp, it is obvious that this was made for the money and the makers don’t care how it turns out because they know that the sales will be good just because it has American Pie in the title. This is definitely a movie that doesn’t deserve to have the name. The only tie that it has is the fact that Eugene Levy stars as Jim’s Dad again and the name Stifler is used. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t so great either as Dwight feels like a very cheap and poor version of the original Stifler. Unfortunately, The Naked Mile is just poor and not very funny with the exception of a couple of moments.
I believe that if you make a movie, it has to entertain you in some way. You can have great, unforgettable movies that will stay with you, you can have movies that’s just pure entertainment with nothing else and you can even have terrible movies that are so awful, it’s entertaining. Unfortunately, The Naked Mile is none of the above. The humour isn’t so great and only makes you laugh for about five minutes overall. If you’re a fan of American Pie, run a mile! You will be disappointed!
American Pie presents Beta House
Director: Andrew Waller
Writer: Erik Lindsay
Producers: W.K. Border
Starring: John White/Steve Talley/Christopher McDonald/Eugene Levy
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 85 minutes
Had enough straight-to-DVD pie to last you a lifetime? Of course you have but do you honestly think that they would stop? Hell no! So after the appalling Naked Mile is Beta House and, while you’d probably expect this one to be worse than the last one, this one is actually my favourite out of the straight-to-DVD series. Remember what I said in my review of The Naked Mile where you can have films where it’s so awful, it’s entertaining? Well, this is Beta House. You know it’s awful and that you shouldn’t really watch it but there are some funny moments and you just can’t help but laugh with and at the movie. Yet again, just like The Naked Mile, the characters could be replaced by cardboard cut-outs as they have a personality of a carrot but admittedly, this is a step up from The Naked Mile, although granted that doesn’t take much.
This time, the Stiflers face a rival fraternity in a Gladiator-esque battle to see which is the better House with some really gross-out scenes, possibly the grossest scene in American Pie history as well as possibly in any movie (the scene I’m talking about is a game of ‘russian roulette’, you’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the film). There isn’t really any plot or any character development or even any personality or charm but Beta House does provide one thing: Fun. If you’re expecting this to be better than the original trilogy, lower your expectations. However, you will find that this is the best straight-to-DVD movie of the series.
Many people may disagree with me saying that I find this to be the best American Pie straight-to-DVD movie of the lot but I was genuinely entertained by this and I think fans of the franchise won’t be so disappointed humour-wise as it stays pretty close to the originals in that respect but if they were looking for something more, then they will be let down. However, with the straight-to-DVD movies, they’re made more for entertainment. This is one that could possibly be enjoyed if you watch it with absolutely no expectations for it to be anything like American Pie but even if you do have expectations, it’s a pretty good movie for a straight-to-DVD.
American Pie presents The Book of Love
Director: John Putch
Writer: David H. Steinberg
Producers: Mike Elliott/Craig Perry/Warren Zide
Starring: Bug Hall/Brandon Hardesty/Kevin M. Horton/Eugene Levy/Louisa Lytton/Nico McEown/Beth Behrs/Melanie Papalia/Edwin Perez
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 96 minutes
Without a doubt this is the worst American Pie in the entire collection. The problem that many people, including myself, had with this movie is that it shouldn’t even have the name ‘American Pie’ considering it literally has nothing to do with it. The only things that tie the two together is the ‘Book of Love’ which is seen in the very first American Pie, Jim’s dad and the name Stifler. This time, the main characters have nothing to do with the Stiflers but they just know him as a guy who happens to go to their school. When the main characters find a book about sex in their school with missing pages, they go on a quest to try and complete the book. It’s actually funny for this to be called a comedy as there’s nothing remotely funny about this slice of pie. The characters are so boring you could cry, the comedy is recycled trash and the story is just awful. The only good thing about the movie is Eugene Levy but even then, he couldn’t save the film.
The original series is always going to be better than the ‘presents’ series but there have been one or two good movies. Unfortunately, The Book of Love isn’t one of them and try as you may, it’s hard to forget it. It’s just absolutely, horrifyingly awful. Don’t buy this, don’t rent this and don’t even watch it if it’s on TV. Avoid this at all costs! The poster above says that the movie is ‘too hot for cinemas’ but what it really should say is ‘too crap for cinemas’, at least then it’d be closer to the truth.
Even with zero expectations, The Book of Love still managed to disappoint because of it’s lazy writing, it’s one-dimensional characters, it’s poor performances and crap humour. Usually, even the poor ‘presents’ films have something funny about it but this has nothing. Not even Eugene Levy could save this atrocity. It’s a shame that the ‘presents’ series had to end on a bad note but with the release of American Pie: Reunion, I can probably see there being more.
American Pie: Reunion
Director: Jon Hurwitz/Hayden Schlossberg
Writer: Jon Hurwitz/Hayden Schlossberg
Producers: Chris Moore/Craig Perry/Warren Zide
Starring: Jason Biggs/Alyson Hannigan/Chris Klein/Thomas Ian Nicholas/Tara Reid/Seann William Scott/Mena Suvari/Eddie Kaye Thomas
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 113 minutes
When I first saw the trailer to American Pie: Reunion, the first thought that went through my head was ‘I really need to see this movie right now!’ but then I had a thought of worry and doubt that made me wonder if this would work. Of course, the comedy would work but would it feel forced? Would the story be strong enough? Would the characters be the same as we left them? We all know that Hollywood have a reputation for destroying series by making worthless, rubbish sequels so I did have a fear that this would be the same. However, after watching it, I realise that I had nothing to worry about as this is actually tied with American Pie as being the best movie of the entire collection. Both American Pie and American Pie: Reunion are quite alike and the heart and charm is very much in this one and the characters and the story is actually really good. It’s simple but it’s very good as we see the gang get together for a weekend to meet for their school reunion where they notice there are problems with their lives and the movie is kind of about them resolving them with funny moments along the way.
The humour is brilliant as it’s laugh-a-minute stuff. Seann William Scott, Jason Biggs and Eugene Levy are fantastic as their characters and provide us with a lot of laughs but we can’t forget the rest of the cast who were also just as brilliant. Another thing that was so great about American Pie: Reunion is that each of the characters played more of a role in this one than they did in the previous ones, especially Jim’s Dad and Stifler’s Mom, and their scenes are great. The first movie was about four teenage lads trying to lose their virginity whilst reaching that milestone of adulthood and Reunion proposes that no matter how old you get, you never change. A lot of your favourite characters from American Pie are back and it’s good to see them again. If you’re a fan of the series, you need to see this now. If you’re not a fan or have never seen the first, watch the first, second and third and then go and see this!
I was nine years old when American Pie first came out and I remember watching it (I know, I was quite young!) and loving every second. I also liked the second and third as well and remembered wanting there to be a sequel soon so I’m glad that this was made. Watching this felt like I was saying hello to old friends and I’m pretty sure, for those who remember this movie back in 1999, it’ll have that nostalgic feeling for them. This is so much better than I expected it to be. I thought it would be good but I didn’t expect to almost like it more than I liked the first and I think that fans will love this just as much as I did. Also, a little funny fact that people may not have noticed but American Pie: Reunion’s poster is a remake of American Pie’s poster.
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