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Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:33 p.m.

What We’re Watching

Hatchet reporter Arich Morales shares his latest movie experience.

American Reunion” (2012)

Photo used under the Creative Commons License

After two sequels and several spin-offs that went straight to DVD, I did not have high expectations for the latest “American Pie” release. But almost nine years after the last installment, the latest film is definitely worth the time.

Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, “American Reunion” returns to East Great Falls, Mich., where the gang assembles once again for a high school reunion. But fans will find a lot has changed for these five close friends.

Jim (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) are married with a child, but the new addition to their family seems to be putting a damper on the couple’s sex life. Oz (Chris Klein) works as a sportscaster in Los Angeles and has a supermodel girlfriend but has grown tired of his shallow lifestyle. Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) brings an assortment stories back to East Great Falls after being missing-in-action for years. Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), true to character, is happily married and works at home as an architect. Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott) is still the same immature womanizer, except he works a temporary job at an investment firm.

The film features the same lovable characters and the same grotesque humor that fans love, but aged characters add a new level of intrigue to a familiar setting. “American Reunion” adds a touch of drama as old feelings of love are rekindled and the group reverts to its childish ways despite newfound maturity.

From start to finish, there is not a dull moment. Jim and Michelle’s marriage is put to the test when an 18-year-old girl Jim once babysat tempts him with an intense crush. His father, who became a widower three years earlier, falls for Stifler’s mom, making for a hilariously uncomfortable storyline.

As for the film’s supporting cast, the actors manage to show that some things never change. Stifler sports his maniacal smile each time he is about to do or say something absurd. Oz shows he is still the same sensitive sucker for love as he longs to get back together with his ex-girlfriend Heather (Mena Suvari). Jim’s dad continues to give outrageously sexual advice – both laugh-out-loud funny and cringe-worthy at the same time.

The film’s added dramatic elements set it apart from its predecessors while creating a sense of nostalgia through various references to the first “American Pie.”

Overall, the sequel deserves its spot in the series. Whether you’re a fan of the films or a first-time viewer, “American Reunion” is a must-see that maintains the familiarity of the characters and plot but also adds some distinctive story elements.

Genre: Comedy
Director: Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg
Cast: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Eddie Kaye Thomas
Release Date: April 6