DVD Review: American Pie Presents - The Naked Mile (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
By Patrick Luce Dec 18, 2006, 17:08 GMT
While Naked Mile is not very original, it does have some moments that are simply laugh out loud funny.
Although there are a few laughs throughout the movie, American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile is another example of a studio beating a franchise to death. While the first American Pie film was funny and even had sparks of originality, this latest installment comes across as formulaic and an attempt to cash in on past films and on National Lampoon territory.
The Naked Mile features a fresh batch of new characters and young actors including John White (How to Deal), Ross Thomas (The Cutting Edge: Going for Gold), Steve Talley (Peaceful Warrior), Jessy Schram (TV’s “Veronica Mars”), and Jake Siegel (in his big screen debut). It was directed by Joe Nussbaum (Sleepover) and written by Erik Lindsay.
The film seems more Animal House than American Pie, and follows Erik Stifler (White) – the cousin of the famous Stiflers of the first American Pie films. Throughout the movie, he tries to lose his virginity before graduating high school, and become worthy of his last name. Although many consider the Stifler name to be a blessing and something to be proud of, for Erik the name is a curse – mainly because he isn’t like his “famous” cousins.
After a disastrous attempt to lose his virginity with his girlfriend, Erik is given a “free pass” to do whatever he wants when he goes to visit his cousin Adam Stiffler (Talley) at college and take part of the school’s annual Naked Mile. The event is a way for all the school kids to blow off steam, and for the film to have lots of gratuitous nudity (probably in an attempt to make up for its lack of laughs).
Once at college, Erik has to help his cousin defend his frat against a rival frat house (made up of midgets), and naturally discover his true self. Once again, the film uses Mr. Levnstein (Eugene Levy) to deliver the sage and awkward advice that helps put Erik on the right path.
While Naked Mile is not very original, it does have some moments that are simply laugh out loud funny. Several of these moments (like the film’s opening scene) are a bit disturbing and show that the filmmakers still know how to go for the “gross out” joke. These laughs are not enough to save the film, and fail to match up to the original American Pie (or the infamous pie humping scene), but they at least keep the movie from being a total waste of time.
The Naked Mile really doesn’t have that much to offer, and will no doubt fall a little flat on some viewers. Fans of the series or this style of comedy, will find plenty of laughs, and care little about the plot. These are the kinds of fans that the movie is made for, and it makes no apologies for its kind of humor. If you enjoyed the first couple of American Pie films, then you know what to expect out of Naked Mile and you won’t be disappointed.
My biggest problem with the movie is that it is just more of the same. While American Pie Presents: Band Camp (the fourth in the series) didn’t really break any new ground either, this one seems to be just a combination of what happened in the first movie mixed with what we have seen before in other comedy classics – most notably Animal House. The movie also seems to be showing signs that the franchise is headed into the “Police Academy” style of filmmaking - with every joke becoming more telegraphed and the plots and characters becoming more useless.
The DVD comes loaded with special features including deleted and extended scenes; outtakes; and commentary from the director, writer and members of the cast. There is also a “Life on The Naked Mile” feature that takes a look at how the film was made; and a “Little People, Big Stunts” that show how some of the scenes with the “little people” were shot. The unrated version of the DVD also includes “The Bare Essentials” which basically shows some of the actors getting their butts waxed for the naked mile running sequence; and a funny “Yoga Guide for Getting Girls” feature that shows the basics for picking up women at yoga class.
Again, none of the movie’s problems will bother fans of the series or of this kind of comedy. If gross humor isn’t your cup of tea, then you might want to stay away from The Naked Mile. If you want a comedy that requires no thought, this is the movie to watch.