Teen Wolf Reviews
In all honesty this is your very standard cheeky 80's high school romp which was the staple diet of many classic comedians throughout the 70's and 80's. The twist in this of course is the supernatural element which is simply a play on the effects of puberty, swapping spots for claws. Its all here as you would expect, the sexy blonde everybody lusts after, the plain brunette our hero never notices, the party obsessed crazy ass best friend, the quiet sensible best friend, the bully, the fat kid, the token black guy (lemonade...awesome character name) and various amusing stereotypical teachers. The best easily being the carefree gum chewing basketball coach.
So if you put the predictable teen antics to one side what are the wolf antics like? Well its pretty darn sweet as a matter of fact, and what's more amazing is the makeup effects on show are really quite good. The little sequence of Fox turning into the wolf has clearly been influenced by 'An American Werewolf in London' and its a really well done moment. Its not scary or gruesome in any of course but it still does look quite realistic utilising simple effects and quick editing. His father in wolf mode doesn't look quite as good admittedly, more like a greying woodland animal with puffed up hair.
There isn't all that much wolf action so to speak, its mostly more silly high school antics but in wolf mode. Wolf mode gives our hero greater strength, better vision, brains etc...the guy becomes a super werewolf and aces everything in school whilst becoming a ladykiller (not literately). The main events of the film are based around the high school basketball games in which Fox's character usually sucks but naturally as a werewolf he's turned the game on its head. This film actually got me into basketball for a time, it introduced me to the game, because of this I bought NBA Jam.
The game segments are really good fun and as the film climaxes it does get a little emotional I can't deny. The game montage accompanied by Mark Safan's 'Win in the End' is glorious mainly down to that corking track. Funny how the underneath of Fox's arms didn't have any werewolf hair applied, always obvious when he raises his arms.
I think people can relate to this film in many ways, certain characters despite them being cliche, the problems of popularity, loneliness, bullying, sexuality etc...usual teen stuff. In all fairness this film doesn't really differ much from the vast array of fast food American high school flicks out there, the werewolf angle is only a different representation of teen angst. It shouldn't really be a good film but somehow it is, what you see isn't original and there aren't any dazzling special effects, its more a character/school based fantasy which is simply a good fun little ride. Attractive performances all round especially from Levine as Stiles and a wicked soundtrack make this a solid cult gem.
Michael J. Fox was a favorite of mine growing up. I loved him in this and the Back to The Future movies. I miss him in movies. He's a great actor. The film is silly and corny, but enjoyable and fun. It doesn't hold the same level of awesomeness it did when I was younger and first seeing it. Still, I will forever love this movie. The 80's have movies that I will continue to love no matter how cheesy they may seem today."
"He always wanted to be special.. but he never expected this."
A movie this stupid really depends on how fun you find it. I didn't enjoy myself. I'm going to nitpick a little bit here. I know this isn't a basketball movie, but if you are going to devote as much screen time at they do to basketball, at least make the games make sense. It looks like the director of the movie has never seen a basketball game in his life. First foul, he's shooting free throws and then after a foul, they do a jump ball. Little shit like that annoys the hell out of me. I guess if you aren't familiar with any concept that goes into basketball, you won't notice. With that to the side, I still didn't find this movie very entertaining.
Scott is an average kid who plays on a crappy basketball team. He isn't really good at anything. All of a sudden he starts to notice little changes, like fur growing on his hands and the fact that he can hear a dog whistle. Well to his surprise, but not his fathers, he is a werewolf. Unlike most werewolf movies the people around him just go with it. He changes in the middle of a game and after staring at him for a few seconds start playing again. Also, being werewolf makes hot girls who never noticed you before horny.
Teen Wolf is actually rather dull for the story. You would think that there would be at least a little joy coming from the ridiculousness, but no. The film is as average as Scott before he becomes a werewolf. It's also extremely strange and I don't mean because the character turns into a werewolf and everyone begins to love him. No the whole movie is just really strange in a way that is hard to describe. A guy surfs on the hood of a van while "Surfing U.S.A. plays, there's weird montages with some of the worst songs I've ever heard playing during them, and then there's the dialogue like:
Mick: You don't scare me, freak. Underneath all that hair, you're still a dork, Scott. I've handled your kind before. Your mama used to steal chickens out of the backyard until I blew her head off with a shotgun. Right, Scott?
Look, it could have probably been worse, but it just really sucks. Watch it if you must, but God the more I think about it, the more I hate it.
Scott Howard: Well, Dad it didn't pass me by. It landed on my face.
This is the kind of goofy premise that somehow works. It really shouldn't, I mean: A high school kid suddenly learns that he's a werewolf? Hilarity ensues as he learns about taking responsibility in his life, while playing on the basketball team and suddenly becoming the most popular kid in school. This film reeks of 80s cheese, but somehow, its always enjoyable to watch. Michael J. Fox is surely one of the reasons, his attitude is just the right kind to make it work. The ridiculous characters, with the exception of the awesome basketball coach, are certainly not helping, but still, this movie is bafflingly watchable.
Coach Finstock: Look Scotty, I know what you're going through. Couple years back, a kid came to me much the same way you're coming to me now, saying the same thing that you're saying. He wanted to drop off the team. His mother was a widow, all crippled up. She was scrubbing floors. She had this pin in her hip. So he wanted to drop basketball and get a job. Now these were poor people, these were hungry people with real problems. Understand what I'm saying?
Scott Howard: What happened to the kid?
Coach Finstock: I don't know. He quit. He was a third stringer, I didn't need him.