Teen Wolf Too (1987)

20 Apr

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Smith’s Verdict: 1/2

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

“Teen Wolf Too” is one of the most uninspired sequels ever made. It’s idiotic, not the least bit amusing, and unoriginal. It’s a sequel to the surprise 1985 box office hit “Teen Wolf,” which I didn’t like but is “Back to the Future” compared to “Teen Wolf Too” (I mean it—it’s that bad). While the original film had clichés that I could list five of, it at least had some amusing bits and a likable Michael J. Fox as the lead. “Teen Wolf Too” has more than a dozen clichés that don’t work at all here and instead of Michael J. Fox returning in the role (if he did, the movie would be titled “Teen Wolf Two” instead of “Teen Wolf Too”), we have Jason Bateman, whom back then was best known for the teenage roles he played in TV shows such as “Silver Spoons” and “Valerie.”

Bateman plays Fox’s cousin Todd who is going off to college. He is embarrassed by his uncle’s constant change in appearance from man to wolf. Todd definitely doesn’t want the same thing that happened to his uncle and cousin to happen to him—especially not in his first year at college. But it turns out he does share the same problem, as he discovers when he gets nervous while slow-dancing with the pretty girl on campus.

One thing you’ll notice right away—the wolf makeup is just plain awful. Bateman looks more like a hairy escaped prisoner from Alcatraz. The makeup in the original wasn’t perfect, since the movie called for the wolf to still be a teenager, but it deserved an Oscar nomination compared to the makeup here. (OK, enough comparisons)

So, like in the original film, Todd shows off his wolf persona to the whole college and becomes popular. Soon enough, he’s able to lead the boxing team to a victory. Yes, we get another “big game” and yes, Todd does get into the ring. If that was lazy enough for screenwriters, it’s even lazier for the filmmakers because I bet the reason they had boxing instead of football was so there would be fewer extras to hire. Worse—it’s boring. At least the Rocky sequels had the same endings but were more watchable.

Also weak are the stereotype characters Todd is associated with—the evil blonde, the nice brunette girl who is right for Todd, the fat guy, the wise guy, and the mean preppy guy. I think somebody should start a new therapy group—“Stereotypes Anonymous.” Hey, there’s a movie idea right here.

Jason Bateman, as the lead, is no help at all with this film. He’s bland and uninteresting. He doesn’t have the kind of charisma that Michael J. Fox carried in the original film. (But of course to his credit, he grew into charisma with “Arrested Development” years in the future.) Kim Darby, as the understanding teacher, is OK but is given nothing to do with the character. John Astin overdoes it as the college dean.

“Teen Wolf Too” is an unnecessary sequel with a lame screenplay, bad acting, and horrible wolf makeup. I never thought a movie could falter on makeup. But it just doesn’t help.

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