The first American Pie film was a huge hit, so naturally there was a follow up two years later. The makers tried to take what everyone loved about the first one and replicate it. Unfortunately lightning does not strike twice.
Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) is given a much larger role in this sequel. He was the breakout star of American Pie so it makes sense that producers would want to capitalise on his popularity. They missed the point though. He was perfect the way he was used in the original where nobody was front and centre in the film. Here, this is clearly Stifler’s film, and the sequel struggles because of it. The other characters returning for the sequel are not used well and have to take a back seat so the audience can endure more of Stifler’s antics.
What made the original great was the charm and chemistry of the whole cast, especially the four leads, so it’s a shame they all had to take a back seat to Seann William Scott in the sequel. Stifler is funny, but I’m far more interested in what’s happening with Jim, Kevin, Oz and Finch. These are the guys I watched in the first film and I wanted to see their characters more, not just see more of Stifler being a dickhead.
This follow up to American Pie fails to capture the charm and humour of the original. It gives an expanded role to Stifler, while everyone else has to take a step back. This is a shame because I feel like there’s more to see from the four leads from the original. Especially Jim (Jason Biggs), his relationship with Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) could’ve been explored more. Same with Oz (Chris Klein) & Heather (Mena Suvari) and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) & Vicky (Tara Reid). If more time were spent on these characters rather than Stifler, there may have been a way for this film to live up to, or possibly even outdo the original.
It didn’t occur to me just how old these movies are until I started thinking about the technology used here:
– The opening scene of American Pie features Jason Biggs trying to choke the chicken to a scrambled porn channel. I’m guessing his dial up connection wasn’t fast enough?
– The video quality of Nadia and Jim’s web show is super pixelated and hilariously 90s. But the scene itself is not so funny once I remembered that kids are receiving jail time for simply sexting each other now.
-Speaking of, nobody owns a cell phone, even in the sequel.
-And the computer screens are of the large, boxy variety and weighed a ton.
-Oz and Heather attempt to have phone sex. On chunky cordless phones. Skyping is still almost a decade away.
-Nadia calls Jim from a pay phone. When was the last time you even saw a pay phone, much less anyone using it?
-Jim attempts to watch a porno on VHS. Again, when was the last time you even saw a VHS, much less watched one?
It’s like we used to live in the Stone Age or something.
As for the movie itself: meh. If you liked the first, you’ll probably like this one, but the magic just isn’t there. Returning home from your first year of college is strange, and the movie captures that awkward summer experience, but with little of the humor or charm of the original. At times this just seems like an excuse to showcase gratuitous nudity and force Stifler to ingest more bodily fluids.
Rating: C- (points for the soundtrack)