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AMERICAN PIE 2: DVD

SYNOPSIS: 
One year after the events in American Pie, the gang are home from college for the summer. Jim (Jason Biggs) is still trying to deal with his well-meaning but painful father (Eugene Levy). He’s also still smarting from an apparent rejection by Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). After their fling at the prom, she hasn’t spoken to him again. His pain is eased somewhat when it appears Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth) will be returning to the US. Stifler (Seann William Scott) hasn’t put any kind of brakes on his libido; and still resents Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) for his romp with his [Stifler’s] mother. Heather (Mena Suvari) and Oz (Chris Klein) are still together, but their relationship will be tested as she heads off to Europe for the summer; and Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas) is hurting over his bust-up with Vicky (Tara Reid). With Jim nervous about his impending rendezvous with Nadia, the guys decide the only thing for it is to follow an established tradition and hire a house by the lake for the summer, where the good times will inevitably flow.


Review by David Edwards:
When the original American Pie turned out to be a hit at the box office, it was only a matter of time before a sequel arrived. But like the sequels to Porkys (which it most closely resembles) and a string of other films, this tired effort just doesn’t measure up.  Adolescent fantasies are the order of the day, as director J B Rogers allows the film to wander aimlessly around just about every sexual stereotype and flaccid (pardon the pun) joke in the increasingly tiresome genre. The script by Adam Herz misses its marks far more than it hits them; and when the jokes do work, it’s a short-lived respite from the inanity. 

The story is essentially a re-hash of the original; with the big end-of-summer party relacing the prom. Everything else though is pretty much the same, except that the desire to get laid for the first time is traded for the desire to get laid again. The result is a film with all the charm and originality of a used condom. Even worse, the film takes the characters exactly nowhere, with just about all of them ending up in the same place they were at the end of the original.

The cast from American Pie is reunited for this outing, although it’s possibly significant that the biggest “name” actors, Mena Suvari and Chris Klein, wisely keep their heads down for most of the film. Jason Biggs exudes the same kind of goofy charm which has become his bread-and-butter, but he fares very badly in the script department. Alyson Hannigan oddly gets far fewer opportunities than she did in the original, and those that do come her way aren’t up to scratch. Seann William Scott is annoying in the extreme as Stifler; and Thomas Ian Nicholas as Kevin is basically just along for the ride. The only character who does get to display some development is Finch, and Eddie Kaye Thomas makes a fair fist of the role.

Apart from Hannigan, the women are marginalised, reduced to objects of lust for the males; making this perhaps uncomfortably close to a porn movie (don’t hold your breath waiting for a Baise-Moi style outrage however). Talented actors like Natasha Lyonne are reduced to basically window-dressing for the sophomoric antics of the male characters.

The DVD features a fine range of extras that will certainly add value if you’re into this kind of movie. By far the best feature is the outtakes reel, which is a hell of a lot funnier than the movie itself. The deleted scenes are also a bonus, although having seen them; I was left wondering why more scenes weren’t left on the cutting room floor. Audio commentary is available, but rather than having just the director or writer, this disc features one track with the cast members. They provide a very different perspective, although I suspect that will matter little to the movie’s target audience. Music fans are well catered for with a feature allowing them to select a song from the soundtrack and play it as it is used in the film. Nice touch.

Ultimately though, American Pie 2 is a tedious exercise in masturbatory fantasy with few redeeming features. Probably the kindest thing that can be said about this is that it could have been worse (see Scary Movie 2, for example). This is definitely one DVD for fans of the series only. Added extras and the original cast just can’t make up for the appalling script and toilet humour.

Published June 20, 2002

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REVIEWS

AMERICAN PIE 2: DVD (MA)
(US)

CAST: Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, Alyson Hannigan, Shannon Elizabeth, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Chris Klein

DIRECTOR: J B Rogers

RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 19, 2002

SPECIAL FEATURES: “The Baking of American Pie” – behind-the-scenes featurette; deleted scenes; outtakes; “Be Like That” music video by 3 Doors Down; “Your Favourite Piece of Pie”: Top ten scenes from American Pie 1 & 2; Music highlights: songs as they appear in the movie; “Classic quotes”: the most memorable lines from the movie; DVD-ROM features; production notes; cast and filmmaker's notes; theatrical trailer; picture disc; audio commentaries by the actors, director J.B.Rogers and writer Adam Herz.







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