American Pie: The Naked Mile review by Tom Blain

In the late 70s to early 80s, National Lampoon Magazine had its name on a number of very good, very successful, and very stupid-funny movies including National Lampoons Animal House and National Lampoons Vacation. There has always been a stinker however... like National Lampoons Class Reunion. Over the past 25 years, there has been a steady decrease in the quality of movies associated with the NL moniker and an increase in the stinkers. There have been hits like Christmas Vacation and a couple low budget sorta-kinda funny movies like Van Wilder. Movies like Senior Trip and Vegas Vacation were complete flops, tarnishing the Lampoons good name. Then in the 2000s, a slew of videos started showing up on Blockbusters new release shelves such as Christmas Vacation:2 and Pledge This. Instead of dying an honorable death it seems they have gone into over-drive with a quantity over quality stategy. I bring this up, because the name American Pie seems to be taking the same route. The fourth installment Band Camp went straight to video. The only hangover from the first three Pies was Eugene Levy who plays Mr. Levenstein, Jims dad. The fifth installment The Naked Mile also has Levy in a bit part milking the role one more time. Although it has some laughs, it seems the creators (or whoever owns the American Pie name) are determined to beat it into the ground with straight to video releases of lesser quality than the orignal.

The Naked Mile opens with a scene that is intended to be a lets top every disgusting thing we have covered with masturbation moment. Erik Stifler (cousin of *the* Stifler) gets caught spankin it by most of his family just like Jim got caught with the apple pie in the first movie. Its probably best I dont describe Erik's dilemna in too much detail. Much like the Kevin in the first movie, Erik wants to lose his virginity before going to college and wants it to be with his 60 lb girlfriend Tracey (seriously, this girl needs to be introduced to Arbys). The main reason he wants to have sex is so that he can live up to the Stifler name. After seeing the first two Pie movies and half of the third, I was unaware that the Stifler name was something to live up to like it is in this movie. I just remember the guy being an ass, and getting pissed on in one scene doesnt seem like there is this huge ladies man reputation for Erik to live up to.

Anyway he and his jackoff buddies (who arent nearly as interesting or identifiable as the troop in the first and second Pie) head off to University of Michigan to participate in the Naked Mile, and hopefully get lucky. Since Tracy was unwilling to give it up, she gives Erik a guilt free pass for the weekend; meaning he can shag with no consequences to his relationship. They get up there, and crash Stiflers cousin's fraternity. Again the cousin is a goofy drinking-chick-magnet legend. Let me repeat, I was under the impression that the Stiflers were tools did I miss something? The elder Stifler shows them a good time, enlists them to play football vs. a midget fraternity, and then they run the naked mile which Jim's dad (Eugene Levy) is somehow the organizer. Huh???

So one observation. Ive seen and purchased many DVDs with the UNRATED marking written across them. Most of the time the UNRATED tag means you will being seeing 5 more seconds of Will Ferralls ass and maybe two seconds of really big, laughable dog testicles. A lot of times I don't even notice a difference, which Im ok with. The The Naked Mile (and go ahead and call me nave) completely lives up to the UNRATED tag. It essentially means that you will see hundreds of naked women and hundreds of tiggo bitties. Fans of the old USAs Up All Night and "Jo Bob Briggs Drive-In Theatre" should find great joy in the Naked Mile.

Its a comedy so the obvious question is, are there laughs. The answer is yes but not nearly as many as there were in the first two Pies (which yes, I have to compare it to over and over). It tries too hard to take the jokes of its predecessors and repeat them plus one. So a guy gets caught masturbating in the first two by his dad? Ok, lets make it his mother, father and grandmother in this one. BINGO! Thats a great scene and totally original. It also doesnt help that the actors are a notch down from the older movies and the characters arent nearly as endearing. In the first movie, the main character was surrounded by a couple average Joe high school guys. In this movie, the younger Stifler has two buddies who are walking hard-ons (literally). The two of them are like a pair of Stiflers from the first movie(they do idolize his cousin they do everything but build a shrine to the guy). In the first movie, the characters were slightly geeky and not so much with the "in" crowd; they were more identifiable.

So there are many reasons why this wasnt in the theatres. One it was done on the cheap, with cheap actors, and first time writer/directors. They arent the worst but its not like pulling in the old trusting characters. Two there is a lot of nudity and they might not have even gotten away with an R-Rating for this one. {Yeah its that good} This movie doesn't put a dagger in the heart of the American Pie franchise, but you get the feeling that its getting close. Its good for a few laughs, but like the old Up All-Night, its not the highest of quality.




4 out of 10 Jackasses
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