A whole two years after the world saw American Pie came J.B. Rogers‘ American Pie 2, a sequel that is actually a slight overall improvement. This time around the gang is back from their first year in college and they deal with the issues of things never staying the same and how everything is always changing. In a resort to rekindle those old party feelings they load up and head to a summer beach house, where plenty of women, booze and fun times await. It’s still another raunchy Pie film, but American Pie 2 has a little more heart and likableness to its characters that makes it a step in the right direction.
Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nicholas), Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Stifler (Seann William Scott) are all back for the sequel to the comedy that shook up the world (somehow) in the late 90’s. It’s the gangs first summer back from college and they celebrate it by packing the truck full of goodies and heading out to the summer beach house. There they get into all sorts of trouble that results in one big party where everything sort of works itself out.
In this slice of Pie the character of Jim is actually given some dimension. Instead of being just another idiot trying to lose his virginity he’s now a full-grown man trying to again have sex, but this time something actually happens. He ends up running into the band geek, Michelle (Alyson Hannigan). He originally asks her for tips on how to better his sex life, but the more she assists him the more the two clearly have something for each other.
It’s a typical movie turn, but it’s nice to see these characters actually show a bit of their feelings. The rest of the crew isn’t given much to work with and it shows. Oz is mostly bored with everything because his girlfriend is overseas and Kevin seems to be playing the realist, constantly reminding everyone how the times are never going to be as good as this. It’s a true reminder and one that again adds a little more charm to the film, but he never seems to actually grab the moment and take advantage of it.
Finch and Stifler continue to play the oddball and obnoxious characters, with no real purpose for their roles minus the ongoing gags and laughs.
There’s just something about American Pie 2 that I liked a lot more than the first film. It didn’t feel as raunchy, but it did feel like it actually cared about its characters and it spent a little more time trying to add definition to them, in hopes of getting the audience to connect with them. I enjoyed watching Jim get in and out of all of these crazy events this time around and not just because it’s funny, but because I was generally interested in seeing what direction he’d go in next.
That wasn’t something I ever felt while watching the first film. Still, American Pie 2 in the end is just another American Pie film. It’s an improvement over the last, but it carries similar problems throughout.
The 1080p video transfer suffers the same problems as the previous film. Everything looks very bland and lacks any real definition or vividness. Bright colors do pop out, but only because the rest of the transfer is flat and lifeless. I’d again blame it on a dated master.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track suffers the exact same problems! There’s just not that much activity throughout the entire track. Dialogue and most general noise takes over the front channels, but the back channels rarely get a rise.
The special features are a step in the right direction, with more than one audio commentary track and a few supplements. Check out the full list below:
- Theatrical & Unrated Cuts
- 4 Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes (SD)
- Outtakes (SD)
- The Baking Of American Pie 2 (SD)
- American Reunion: A Look Inside (HD)
- Good Times with Cast and Crew (SD)
- Music Video (SD)
- Theatrical Trailer (SD)
- DVD Copy
- Digital Copy
American Pie 2 is a step in the right direction for a series that eventually goes in the worst direction possible, straight to DVD. The first three films at least were enjoyable on some level, but then a dozen spin-off sequels plagued the Pie name and now the newest film, American Reunion, is trying to capitalize on a once popular name. Having watched American Pie just the other night I can safely say American Pie 2 is an overall improvement, adding both charm and slight depth to otherwise surface-level characters. It’s better than the first film, but it still doesn’t hold up well against a dozen other teen comedies.
That being said, the Blu-Ray package is similar to the first film, with a shoddy video transfer and a front-heavy audio track. The special features are all on the disc as well as two cuts of the film. If you like the Pie films then I probably don’t need to tell you to pick this one up. If you haven’t bothered with them yet then I’d still suggest renting this one.
American Pie 2 is a step in the right direction for the Pie series, but the Blu-Ray itself shows the age of the master, meaning the video and audio quality isn't all that remarkable.