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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as charming, but still good fun, January 26, 2002
This review is from: American Pie 2 (Unrated Widescreen Collector's Edition) (DVD)
As sequels go, this isn't too bad. Most sequels underperform the original by a good margin, but this one falls off only slightly. In many places the comedy in APII is better than the first. However, it is mostly just raunchier. What is missing here is any attempt at creating a plot. The first film had a clear and consistent plot that revolved around "The Pact". It also had a candor about it that was very representative of high school life with all its braggadocio, bravado and hidden insecurities. With the exception of Jim (Jason Biggs) who retains his performance anxiety from the last film, all the innocence is gone from this film and with it much of the charm. Most of the cast members are back, but the cohesiveness is missing along with some of the synergy.
That doesn't mean it is without laughs because outrageous sex skits will always be funny (as long as they don't get too gross, like Scary Movie) and this film has them in abundance. Some miss but most hit. You could see the super glue bit coming a mile away, but it is still hilarious. The phone sex scene isn't. Still, the best scenes in the film are not the raunchy ones, but the sex lessons given to Jim by his friendly band geek Michelle (Alyson Hannigan).
Jason Biggs leads the ensemble with another terrific performance of a guy obsessed with performance. Biggs is the actor with the most nuance in the cast, capable of both outrageous and subtle humor. Shannon Elizabeth is sidelined as the Nadia, being more of an object than an active participant in this film. Chris Klein is also marginalized with very few scenes worth mentioning. Seann William Scott is back as Stifler, more outrageous than ever. This time he goes too far making the character's crudeness and untamed libido so obnoxious that it stops being funny. Eddie Kaye Thomas isn't given much to work with the way Finch is written this time, being more bizarre than comical. Once again, Alyson Hannigan steals the show as Michelle, the queen of band camp. Her wide eyed facial expressions are priceless and her comic timing is impeccable. Hannigan and Biggs have fantastic chemistry and play off one another so well that they could have been a vaudeville act. Eugene Levy is marvelous as Jim's well meaning but hopelessly square dad.
This film meanders a great deal and misses the freshness of the first film, but is still packed with plenty of fun. I rated it a 7/10. For those not offended by crass language and sexually explicit humor, it will probably be a great time.
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