23 November 2003 | bob the moo
Not great but has a certain charm thanks mainly to a solid script and typical charm from Fox
Scott Howard is on a basketball team of no-hopers (himself included), is outside of the "cool pack" at highschool and can't seem to even get close to the girls he is interested in. He also is going through some "changes" in his life – with his body doing odd things. The nature of these become clear to him when he transforms into a werewolf. Horrified to find that this runs in his family, Scott tries to control it but when he loses his temper in a basketball game he changes – to the stunned silence of the crowd and players. When he then wins the game he wins everyone over (well, most of them) and finds that the attention, acceptance and coolness that he craved are now his to have. However can he have this without it going to his head or becoming a novelty more than a person?
My girlfriend insisted that we watch Teen Wolf Too recently because neither of us had seen it. Having suffered through that I then rewatched the original film as it had been about twenty years since I last saw it. This should be kept in mind because, my enjoyment of the first film was unquestionably influenced by how poor the sequel was – indeed I need to keep this in mind while writing because I should not be praising Teen Wolf simply for not being as bad as the film that followed it. So, Teen Wolf is not a great film. It is a basic story that mixes teen coming-of-age films with the sports cliché and throws in the werewolf legend to make it a bit different. It does what you expect it to, ending with the moral lesson and sporting climax that you know is coming from about 10 minutes into it. Unlike the sequel though the film does have scenes that link the various stages of the film, so it feels like a story rather than squares on a board game where you are either in one or the other, never between. This gives it a better flow and makes it feel like we have something to go along with rather than making jumps.
The film is never really hilarious but it does have a certain charm to it that makes it quite fun to watch. It badly needs laughs but the set-pieces and the moments of plot do help keep it engaging. A big part of this is Fox himself – he is a personable actor and he brings that easy charm to this film. He works well and is well supported by the cute Ursitti, while Levine's Styles works a bit better than his counterpart in the sequel – ie he is less annoying even if he is not really funnier. Holton is just a comedy fat guy with no comedy to deliver while Hampton is just solid as the father. Nobody si brilliant but they are OK, with Fox leading the way well.
Not a great film by any means, Teen Wolf does have a certain charm to it. It needs more laughs to it but there is fun to be had and the plot at least flows rather than stutters and, in Fox and Ursitti, the cast make it a bit more engaging than the material should be.