"American Pie 2"
Directed by James B. Rogers.
Written by Adam Herz.
Starring Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, and Eugene Levy.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 8/10/01
God bless Seann William Scott, even if he
does spell his first name with two n's.
You see, you have to really appreciate a man
that knows the age-old adage, “Do one thing, and do it well.” In
the five movies that he has appeared in since 1999's
he has played roughly the same character in each and every single
film. And, he is unsurpassed right now in playing the oversexed
teen jock that made him famous: Steve Stifler.
And, “American Pie 2”—the sequel that
reunites Stifler with his high school buddies at a beach house as
they celebrate life following their first year away at college—is
ONLY successful when Scott is on screen. You may not like the
Stifmeister, but one thing is clear: he is funny as hell. Whether
he is getting laid, pissed on, objectifying women, kissing other
men, or joining in three-way phone sex, Scott has perfected the art
of non-acting to the next level. He is hilarious in this film, and
is truly the best reason to watch this sequel.
How could this be? Well, the biggest reason
is because the four main characters are really, surprisingly
boring: Oz (Chris Klein), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), Kevin (Thomas
Ian Nicholas) and the pie-man himself, Jim (Jason Biggs). Oz is
still dating Heather (Mena Suvari), so he spends most of the movie
talking on the phone with her, since Heather is studying abroad for
the summer. Finch still lusts after Stifler's mom (Jennifer
Coolidge), and spends the whole movie practicing tantric orgasms in
lieu of her presence. Kevin still wants to get back together with
Vicky (Tara Reid) and Jim...well, Jim needs to figure out how he
will deliver on the biggest score of his young life with foreign
exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), so he leans on cherry
buster band friend Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) to tell him how to
improve his sex skills.
So, because nothing has changed for these
guys, we count on Stifler to deliver the comedic goods, and he does
about 95% of the time. Unfortunately, there are so many people in
this movie that we only get to see him in short bursts and when he
isn't around, the movie loses energy...although, the couple sitting
behind me and my friend Ross sure didn't lose energy during this
film, since they had time to fool around in a crowded Friday
audience. There are literally fifteen characters in “American Pie
2” that get at least three scenes. In fact, if you were thinking
that this sequel would feature *more* of Elizabeth as the
too-hot-to-believe Nadia, you are wrong: She has about the same
number of scenes she had in the last film. Suvari has moved on to
more serious work (and, after “American Beauty”, there is no turning
back for her), so she seems useless here. Hell, even Klein has
starred in a couple of films since the first pie run, and he seems
bored to be around the set of this flick as well.
There are a few funny scenes in-between
Stifler shots, and Biggs once again pulls off an incredible
performance getting into hijink after hijink as the geeky Jim. But,
the story only seems to provide a different location for the guys to
get laid again this summer, and it feels even more disjointed
because it was so long...120 minutes is too long for a teen sex
comedy, and it shows in the film's final quarter as you find
yourself waiting for the big beach house party to commence.
If this movie makes money—and unless all of
America's theaters shut down this weekend, that seems an
inevitability—you can expect to see these characters again.
Hopefully, the producers of the third film will do one of two
things: a) call it “American Pie 3: The Stifmeister” and lose all
of the series' other characters except for Biggs' Jim, or b) write a
story that makes our four heroes get into something more interesting
than seeing if Finch will bed Stifler's mom for a third time.
Otherwise, this thing will REALLY run out of gas.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard