American Pie: The Naked Mile (2006) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: R for pervasive strong sexual content, crude humor, nudity, drug use, and language
Running Time: 98 min.
Cast: John White, Jessy Schram, Ross Thomas, Steve Talley, Jake Siegel, Eugene Levy, Candace Kroslak, Jordan Madley, Jaclyn A. Smith, Melanie Merkoski, Angel Lewis, Mika Winkler, Christopher McDonald
Director: Joe Nussbaum
Screenplay: Erik Lindsay
Although some marketers might dub this American Pie 5, this is really just another direct-to-video spin-off of the trilogy, taking place after (although not a sequel to) American Pie: Band Camp, featuring a new ensemble of characters (Eugene Levy is the only character to reappear).
In this version, John White stars as Erik Stifler, younger brother to Steve and Matt, and also a bit of the black sheep of the Stifler family, mostly because he is in his senior year in high school and still a monogamous virgin. If he had his way, it would be different, but his sweetheart girlfriend, Tracy (Schram), just doesn't feel she is ready to take it past "dry humping". In an effort to alleviate the peer pressure for Erik, Tracy agrees to allow him a "free pass" weekend, where he can lose his virginity without her, no strings attached. It's the perfect weekend for such an agreement, as his best buds are taking him to run in "the Naked Mile", whereby some some university students run around campus sans clothing once a year to blow off steam, followed by a night of wanton hedonism, where even an insecure high school kid like Erik is sure to score. Trouble is, Tracy begins to second guess her decision, hoping that Erik won't be able to go through with it.
At this point in the series, if one can still call it that, you know it's going to deliver exactly what you expect, no more, no less. You know that the main premise is going to be about high school boys out to get laid. You know much of the humor is going to be of the scatological variety, mostly involving embarrassing situations of a public nature. You know that there's going to be a fair share of nudity and drunken debauchery. You know there's going to be pop and rock tunes blaring from beginning to end. You know that it's going to end on a sweet note, making up for all of the crass behavior that came before. A film like this is almost critic-proof: those picking this up know what they are getting into, and won't mind the redundant qualities of the plot line -- all they want is a few good yuks, some mindless titillation, and something gross enough to tell their buddies about the next day.
Despite the fact that it is predictable, unoriginal, and dips fairly deep in the crude humor department to get laughs, I find it difficult to hate American Pie: The Naked Mile, as it fills that certain niche that fans of the series just can't seem to get enough of. While it doesn't really approach the original film in terms of overall quality, it's on par with most of the other films to come after it, with an appealing cast of young actors, punchy direction, and an amiability in its delivery aimed strictly at fans of the "teen sex" subgenre that the series has been on the forefront of.
I would be remiss in not mentioning that the film has a fair share of disgusting sight gags, such as urine in someone's face, uncontrollable defecation, projectile vomiting, bestiality allusions, and a host of other politically incorrect jokes (featuring nearly every slur against "little people" one might imagine). There's not one, but TWO scenes where semen shoots out several feet striking people in the face, including one that results in Stifler's grandmother dying from the shock of getting "tagged" by her grandson's man-juice. There is also much more nudity than in the other four films, which you'd expect from a film with a "Naked Mile". Plenty of T&A, for viewers stuck between fixes of that good ol' "dumpster porn".
-- Followed by American Pie Presents: Beta House. Although not a direct sequel, it does refer to events and characters in the American Pie trilogy: American Pie, American Pie 2, and American Wedding, and the spin-off, American Pie: Band Camp.
©2006 Vince Leo