9 September 2005 | hall895
A satisfying second slice
Well here we are, back for more of the same antics we got in American Pie. There may be a sense we've seen this all before but somehow American Pie 2 really works. All the characters we know and love (or hate) from the original are back and they're constantly being placed into outrageous situations which will inspire gut-busting laughs. Even though we're going back over much of the same territory, the sequel is more consistently and explosively funny than the original. What could have easily been a pointless, unnecessary sequel actually manages to be something fresh, funny and appealing.
As with the original the Jason Biggs character of Jim is the glue holding the film together. Everything revolves around him in one way or another. Where in the original film each of the main male characters came with his own romantic storyline this time around Jim takes center stage. Most of the female characters have been shunted to the sidelines here with Shannon Elizabeth, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari and Natasha Lyonne being mere bit players. Their absence doesn't hurt at all and may actually help by making the story more focused. This one's all about the boys with Jim and friends renting a summer home following their first year of college. Back for more hilarity are Chris Klein as Oz, Eddie Kaye Thomas as the increasingly bizarre Finch and Thomas Ian Nicholas as the comparatively dull Kevin. And even though none of the others like him the script finds a way to contrive to get Seann William Scott's juvenile, vulgar, obnoxious Stifler tossed into the mix. Where the other guys might go to the edge of what is appropriate Stifler is always willing to go careening over the edge and his antics are a hoot.
If you thought nothing could be more embarrassing than what happened to Jim in the original film, just wait. And along to heighten the embarrassment is Jim's father, played wonderfully by Eugene Levy, who in trying to help inevitably just makes things worse. And the one female from the original who actually has a major role here, Alysson Hannigan as Michelle, also does a great job. Oh, the wacky things that go on at band camp. With a slew of familiar characters moving from one hilarious situation to the next, all backed by a winning soundtrack, American Pie 2 succeeds in equaling and even surpassing the original.