We have as much anticipation as the boys to experience a great reunion, and predictable beginning aside to remind us of Jim’s endless troubles in the bedroom department, it’s rather comforting to be back in their awkward presence, and wonder at what the weekend will bring out in them all. The key to this is seeing them revert to type, which they do – exactly as any school reunion should induce a sense of comforting nostalgia.
Directors Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg of Harold & Kumar fame have all the right credentials for injecting some much needed promise into this franchise and teasing out more of the bromance of this bunch of school pals. In terms of the latter, there is a greater sense of this group’s tightness in this as they grow ‘wiser’ and have each others backs more, which is vital for the gags to work and revel in the knowing glances at all they’ve experienced.
Thankfully, there is never a sense of weariness at what you’re watching, as the leads constantly poke fun at their ‘by-gone’ days and ‘over-the-hill’ antics: it’s almost like a built-in insurance policy if some parts feel a tad repetitious with some of the set-pieces. Expect the usual puerile bodily jokes from the class fool (Jim or Stifler), and the token ‘trousers down’ kitchen moment (albeit more graphic), followed by Jim and Jim’s Dad’s (Eugene Levy) embarrassing father-son talk. What is nice to see is how this role reversal pans out throughout the story, allowing Levy a few gem moments to devilishly shine for the first time in this series, as well as for Jim to eventually gain some much sought after credibility among his peers.
Long-suffering but ballsy Michelle (Alyson Hannigan) also returns as Jim’s band camp wife, complete with trumpet moment, as do the other childhood sweethearts that trigger old emotions and feelings. It’s classic textbook stuff as we watch the aging characters find solace in the old to make up for the disappointments of life’s current situations. One disappointment is there is not more of Finch in the story, and his mystery reveal is not as punchy as anticipated either. As expected, there are plenty of life morals to be learnt – and a surprising new career move for Stifler to delight at. However, the best gag of the lot is another Stifler triumph, a play on the ‘Stifler’s Mum’ joke that will brings a little hand punch cheer for fans.
The jokes are old and the guys are older, but it’s big-hearted entertainment that does need some previous character investment to catch all the nods – like being in the presence of any longstanding group of friends. There are still some decent big laughs at the whole farce of trying to stay young and hip – something we can all relate to. Hopefully, Reunion will mark a commendable end to the series and another is not dragged out, after all, seeing Jim trying to get some pleasure in an old folks’ home would be seriously overstepping the mark!