Did it need to exist? Probably not. The first one was perfect, the second one just wanted to ride the wave.
But I loved the characters. It was good to just hang out with the guys again.
The sequel survives on the characters and set pieces. The first one had a strong structure--- it was all about the build up to the prom, and the sex. The sequel was much like where the story was set; a pointless summer vacation, but one where lots of fun happens.
The scene at band camp where Jim gets mistaken for Petey, the special needs trumpeter, is absolutely masterful. And it doesn't rely on sex. It's harmless, silly and hilarious.
Same thing goes for the scene where Stifler breaks into the house of the 'lesbians' and finds a dildo. Jim and Finch follow him in--- and then of course, the women return home, and the lads are stuck in the house, forced to hide in the bedroom.
But for every masterful scene, there are moments that struggle. When the women find them in the bedroom, what follows is a scene where they mess with the guys, forcing them to touch and kiss each other in return for some lesbian action. It's a nice idea, but lasts five minutes too long.
In the first film, everything weaves together perfectly. In the sequel, they don't seem to know what to do with all the characters. Kevin and Vicky? Boring! Oz and Heather? Snorefest! I guess they just wanted to keep as many original cast members together as possible. But the phone sex storyline was coma inducing. Oz and Heather were adorable in the original, but this was just pointless.
The film got better halfway through, that's when the key story really took shape. I'm talking, of course, about Jim and Michelle, who have always been the heart of the franchise. Looking back at this film --and this is purely speculation on my part-- but you get the sense that they tried overly hard to make it as funny, outrageous and shocking as the original; and because of it, there's a lack of focus --- but it's saved because of Jim and Michelle. They bring an honesty and openness to it, which makes things more balanced, it makes us believe in it more.
And then there's Jim's Dad. And Stifler. The fact is: these characters are hilarious, which is mostly a good thing but it means there was always a risk of overkill. It's like watching 'Friends', you know Joey is Joey, but they have to keep it in check, because if you cross the line, everyone quickly gets disinterested. In the years since this film came out, the Stifler jokes have aged, yet Jim's Dad still rings true.
Ultimately, this film is nowhere near as strong as the original. Having said that, some moments are HILARIOUS. I'd totally forgotten about Jim gluing himself to himself with one hand, and to the 'Pussy Palace' VHS in the other. That whole sequence is golden.
'American Pie 2' is just about passable as a sequel. The characters are lovable and some of the sequences are genuinely hilarious. But overall, it's a piecemeal effort. A bunch of jokes hacked together with convenient storylines that exist purely to make them possible.