Much as the first American Pie did two years prior, this sequel proves that a few decent comedic set pieces and an appealing cast can almost overcome a woefully klutzy, sub-sitcom quality script from neophyte writer Adam Herz. For its first half hour, American Pie 2 follows the formula of the first film so closely that audiences could set their watches to it: Four horny post-adolescents gather for an end-of-the-school-year blowout; male bodily fluids are consumed by an unsuspecting Stifler (Seann William Scott); a secret guide (this time a guide to having a great summer beach party) is unearthed by Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols); and sundry other characters appear and disappear for the sake of elaborate one-liners. When American Pie veered from gross-out comedy to sweetness and light, however, it was ultimately winning, thanks to the co-ed chemistry of its teen stars; here, the film stops dead to shoehorn in some embarrassing heart-to-heart talks. Worse, nearly all of the ingenues from the first film -- including Mena Suvari, Tara Reid, the sublime Natasha Lyonne, and the vampy Jennifer Coolidge -- are relegated to glorified cameos. But if Herz and director J.B. Rogers squander those performers' talents, they at least realize the potential of Eugene Levy and Alyson Hannigan, whose superlative uber-geek characters are fleshed out and fully realized here. And then there are the set pieces: Not all of them work, but a lengthy, raunchy "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" scene is almost worth the price of admission. It's also enough to make one wish that the rest of the film were as well put-together.
by Michael Hastings review