I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Teen Wolf Too

tn_teenwolftooEverybody knows there’s a TEEN WOLF TOO starring Jason Bateman. I know I personally have been aware of this fact for many years. But until this week it never really occurred to me to actually watch it. I decided to do just that, and here’s what I found.

TEEN WOLF was about a teen who turned into a wolf, and TEEN WOLF TOO is about a teen who turns into a wolf too. He’s the cousin of the Michael J. Fox character, whose whereabouts are not mentioned. Maybe they wanted to leave the possibilities open for a THREEN WOLF, or maybe they just wanted to avoid pulling a MATRIX RELOADED. The original MATRIX had such a nice open ending where you could imagine what happened next, but then they put a cap on that by showing what’s next in part 2. The TEEN WOLF saga doesn’t make that mistake, it lets Scott Howard continue his journey through your imagination.

After TEEN WOLF I like to think that Scott became friends with a werewolf nationalist student group in college and re-connected with his roots. As a Twenty Wolf he excelled at college basketball but failed to make the NBA draft. After a brief stint in the Harlem Globetrotters he fell into underground fighting circles and defeated Tong Po, but was later felled by a sucker silver bullet in the spine. Only his dad and a recast Stiles showed up at the funeral.

mp_teenwolftooAnyway, part Too is a lazy rehash where they just changed high school to college, basketball to boxing. Teen Wolf Too even almost seems to have the same single parent as his cousin, since his parents are never shown and his uncle drops him off at college. He has the same friends (a recast Stiles and returning Mark Holton as Chubby), same coach (recast Coach Finstock now coaches college boxing), same girl problems (smart science partner likes him but he obsesses over the bitch with the better-boxer-than-him asshole boyfriend). The dean hates him instead of the principal. He finds out (later than most) that he’s a Teen Wolf Too, uses it to be better at boxing, gets full of himself and wears sunglasses, then decides to suppress and deny his true self, so it’s a happy ending. Same shit his cousin went through.

A teen wolf lives too lives, so he must also have too tasks: he has to cram for a three-hour makeup science exam and a big boxing match both in one night. And still finds time to get laid. Following the rule that a sequel has to have more of everything, Teen Wolf Too ups the ante for casual sex. And not just the study break I just mentioned – he also has a threesome at one point. In that sense this is ALIENS to TEEN WOLF’s ALIEN.

I don’t have to understand the appeal of Stiles to know that this is a lesser Stiles than in part 1. I wish they would’ve said this was Stiles’s cousin, and that the coach was the coach’s cousin. It could be a whole alternate universe of cousins. I don’t think the original Stiles would ever have this mullet. The original Stiles was more charismatic, he really took charge of everything, like he was the Mayor of Partying. This guy seems more like a delusional nerd. He thinks people like him, but I’m not sure they do. This time he sells shirts that say “Teen Wolf Too” on them. I guess he thought up that title from within the movie.

By the way, did we know in part 1 that “Stiles” is short for Stilinski? In other words, he is hiding his ethnic heritage the same way the Howard cousins are hiding their wolf powers. They’re all ashamed of where they come from.

Also of note: no vehicle surfing in this one. I’m guessing maybe some kid almost got killed copying it after part 1 or they were worried somebody would. Because otherwise they are very thorough about unimaginatively re-using every last detail of what happened the first time around.

One thing that does change from the first one is that there’s a brief stint of anti-werewolf sentiment between the time he’s outed and the time he uses it to be good at boxing. People call him a dog and infest him with fleas and stuff. Not cool. What kind of a backwards school is this? If teeny little Beacon Town is cool with werewolves you’d think a college town wouldn’t be so bigoted.

There’s also a whole thing about his science teacher who’s also his academic adviser. Even though she at first seems like she wants to do him (animal magnetism) she brings to mind the gay parallel again. She keeps implying that she understands his problem because she’s been through it. She even has a butch hair cut. Sure enough (HUGE SPOILER – I MEAN IT – HOLY SHIT, DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU DON’T WANT TEEN WOLF TOO TO BE RUINED FOR YOU)

,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
TEEN WOLF TOO SHOULD BE SEEN WITH FRESH EYES IN MY OPINION
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
THAT MEANS YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH PART 1 BECAUSE IT IS ALL SPOILERS OF EXACTLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN PART TOO









you find out at the end that she’s a werewolf. With a long tail. I guess Woman Wolves are different.

What you gotta wonder is how she got where she is. Did she use her wolf powers to be really good at science, but then decide to stop using The Wolf and make it on her own? Or was her thing women’s tennis or something and then she grew out of it and became a scientist and that means that Scott Howard could have grown out of basketball and gone on to make something useful of his life and maybe even be a positive role model for younger generations of wolves? And if they ever made a TEEN WOLF III: THE MARSUPIALS would she be back and if so would she be recast or would she be cousined?

Well, seems like there won’t be a part 3 for her to enjoy, but at least she got the goofiest lines in this one. She’s supposed to be a serious character so naturally she gets the most laughs:

“What’s going on here? Frog fighting in my lab?”

and of course:

“You can’t face life as a wolf and expect it to solve all your problems.”

Jason Bateman is fine as Teen Wolf Too. He’s not as funny or sympathetic as he tends to be these days, but I think it’s fair to say that this was a stepping stone for him, as much of a failure as it was. Before this I just remember him playing smarmy little pricks on shows like SILVER SPOONS. Here he’s the audience surrogate, you don’t really even hate him when he becomes a dick for a while during the montages in the middle.

One of the more inexplicable scenes is the musical number at a party where he lip synchs “Do You Love Me.” I figure this was trying to imitate the famous Ferris Bueller “Twist and Shout” parade lip sycnch. But I really couldn’t tell you what the deal was with the ’80s and oldies. For some reason David Addison singing “Doo Wah Ditty” seemed cool at the time. In those days there really was no way for the average individual to actually be cool so instead what you were supposed to do was sing or lip synch a 20-30 year old song. In movies and TV they acted like this behavior was totally outrageous and I think for the most part we at home bought it. This goes hand in hand with the other type of humor in this movie, where a bowl of salad gets catapulted through the air and lands on a stuck up rich girl’s head. What a mess! Score one for the proletariat! Your whole sham of a class system is about to crumble before your eyes.

I guess I missed the screenplay credit because they had it before the “characters created by” and “story by” for Joseph Loeb III and Matthew Weisman, and before the producer. So I honestly thought it was telling me that no one wrote it. Funny, doesn’t have a loose improvised feel to it. One of my buddies said the director Christopher Leitch (writer of UNIVERSAL SOLDIER) must’ve said, “You guys’ve seen TEEN WOLF, right? Okay – action!”

I really am convinced that Loeb and Weisman didn’t write a new treatment but maybe the writer’s guild made sure they got story by credit since it is, in fact, the same story they wrote for the first one. Anyway, thanks to IMDb I learned that R. Timothy Kring, the creator of the tv show HEROES, was the writer. Nice try wiseguy, thinking you could write that movie and fly under the radar by putting your credit early instead of right before the director. You thought nobody would have to know it was you, it would be swept under the rug and eventually people would forget all about TEEN WOLF TOO. There’s only one thing you didn’t count on: advances in technology would eventually allow for the collection and widespread dissemination of exactly that type of information. Lady’s and gentlemen, we got him.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 12:20 am and is filed under Comedy/Laffs, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

23 Responses to “Teen Wolf Too”

  1. “Lady’s and gentlemen, we got him.”

    Ha!

  2. Wasn’t John Astin in this?

  3. jesus, “lady’s”? well I guess I’ll leave it, because of keepin it real. And out of solidarity since commenters can’t fix their spelling errors.

  4. I have a new favourite verb – “to cousin” – remember when the Dukes of Hazzard got cousined? I’m sure it happened a few other times in the 80s…

  5. brilliant Vern! brilliant!

  6. I may be remembering this wrong, but I think that the Cosby Show had an onslaught of counsing going on. One year there’s Theo and Rudy and Lisa Bonet, the next year the house is full of cousins you’d never heard of before.

    And I think every blonde girl on Three’s Company was a cousin of the first blonde girl. Something to that effect.

  7. Thrice Wolf.

    Directed by David Cronenberg.

    Why not?

  8. I saw this movie as a kid and just kind of went with it. It wasn’t until years later that I was like, wait..wouldn’t he have bigger problems than alienating his friends?

    Why didn’t the CIA capture him and dissect him? Why didn’t he just turn pro and start making money? Why didn’t the NCAA raise some issues about a fucking supernatural creature beating the shit out of college kids? How would that even work? Who would actually lace up their gloves knowing they were going to fight a goddamn werewolf? That would of been a cool movie: you join the boxing team, you need to win to keep your scholarship but your school’s biggest rival just recruited the wolf man to fight in your weight class. Is the Creature from the Black Lagoon on the swim team? Why not just have an entire athletic department full of monsters. They would have the coolest frat house, definitely.

    What’s funny is that they make it a point to show that his turning into an animal has gotten in the way of him pursuing his dream.

    Wasn’t his dream to become a veterinarian? Wouldn’t being a talking dog help?

  9. I once ran for Comptroller of Partying, but I lost. I think the vote was rigged, though.

  10. I voted for you, Maj.

  11. Vern, will there be a review of Teen Witch?

    Um, yeah, my girlfriend asked me to ask….

  12. It’s a shame that they don’t have the Internet in Niagara Falls or she could have asked herself.

  13. Speaking of Jason Bateman, will there be a review of Extract? I know you’re not crazy about reviewing comedy, but I personally found it to be Mike Judge’s best movie yet.

  14. Great review. I like when Vern kind of goes out of topic and says something unexpected like in this one:
    “a bowl of salad gets catapulted through the air and lands on a stuck up rich girl’s head. What a mess! Score one for the proletariat! Your whole sham of a class system is about to crumble before your eyes.”

    Speaking of wich, I think it’s time for a “Vern tells it like it is” column. Or another real life anecdote, like helping neighbors move furniture or mambo socks.

  15. “Why didn’t the CIA capture him and dissect him?”

    Since both “Teen Wolf” and “Mask” were released within a few months of each other, maybe both films were the product of some bizarre, short-lived strain of humanism, much in the way that short bursts of quirk will from time to time infect every movie being made.

    Just grasping at straws.

  16. Also Teen Wolf Too: Wolfin’ It Down. It could be about Jason Bateman’s kid (who he, for reasons unexplained abandoned) who get’s dropped off at high school by his great uncle and jooins the high-school-hot-dog-eating-contest team which would be a perfect metaphor for similie maybe for dealing with issues of being a gay wolf.

    Stiles of course is in it as the young cub’s best friend but instead of doing cute little troublemaking activities, he gets chased off the property because he’s a fortysomething pervert hanging out at a high-school.

    It comes to a head when Rev. feltch comes in with his Christian Hate Brigade to protest the hot-dog-eating-contest but all is forgiven in the eyes of the Lord when the young cub beats the opposing school. (I say all is forgiven, when in reality it might be better to just dump that whole conflict completely after he wins the contest without any sort of ACTUAL resolution (not bagging on the Teen Wolf saga, I just think that plot holes can be fun sometimes.))

  17. theres no way extract can top the beauty of idocracy loudabagel you have obviously not seen it or aren’t as smart as i.

    anyway i loved this review and am almost positive i laughed at it more than both movies.

    unrelated question why does the search feature suck so bad on this sight? For example i search for “hellboy” and hellboy is the 5th result after The Dark Knight your 2004 Oscar predictions and Oldboy. Also you owe us all a review of Hellboy 2 i feel after saying youd like very much to see another one.It ups the ante on the first one in every way imaginable and i can’t see you not loving the shit out of it. Easily Del Toros best looking movie yet.Like Spiderman 2 and X-men 2 it also surpasses the original in almost every way you could hope. I mean really Vern this motherfucker directed Blade 2 you owe us this one.

  18. Dieselboy, have you seen Extract? You disagree with my opnion, so you must be an idiot or something. But I’m totally with you on Hellboy 2.

  19. so if they went ahead and recast a couple characters why did they bother to cousin Jason Bateman? He could have been Michael J Fox’s character and I don’t think anyone would have cared in the long run. I guess then they wouldn’t have been able to use the clever title.

  20. Mickey, obviously Fox’s character changing from Basketball to Boxing would require too much suspension of disbelief in anotherwise logical and grounded story.

  21. i saw this movie once about 13 years ago on video in india, and the only thing i remember about it, other than it being painfully bad, is being totally flabbergasted at the musical number. it becomes a full-blown musical number with choreographed crowd dancing and everything. it’s totally bizarre and retarded. and i am speaking as a fan of both musicals and the original “teen wolf won.” btw, this could be my faulty memory, but wasn’t there at least one other musical style number in the movie? in mmy memory, i think of “teen wolf, too!” as a musical. can it be from only that one scene?

  22. Good review, Vern. But still way, way too Liberal.

    Does Bateman bite open a beer can in this one? And does the butch-teacher-wolf pee her own pants, or am I thinking of the first one where another guy pees his pants? Who pees in their pants, is what I’m asking.

    Also, how is the boxing in terms of choreography and oomph? I can’t remember it (though I can remember the basketball scenes in Part One).

  23. I thought of a cool way to do a new Teen Wolf movie last night: Teen Wolf Too 2

    It’s thirty years later and Jason Bateman leads a boring life with a boring job and never becomes the Wolf anymore. And then he does and (contrary to the lore of the first movie), not only does he become a Wolf but he also de-ages. Turns out, this whole time, it’s called Teen Wolf not because he happens to be a Teen at the time of the movie but because the Wolf is always a Teen. So he goes out and parties and it’s great, but it’s draining. It takes not only a physical toll on him, but it starts messing with his life/career when he does it too much. It also attracts the attention of werewolf hunters…

    Eventually, Teen Wolf Too seeks out the wisdom of his cousin Scott who lives as Teen Wolf 24/7 and does pretty well for himself despite being stuck in the past. He’s a coked up acting business asshole like Ellis or Gordon Gekko or most of the characters Michael J. Fox played in the 80s. (With motion capture, we basically paint Michael J. Fox over an on-set stand-in. Michael J. Fox records his lines, which are then altered to sound younger and also to smooth out any of the, um, vocal tics.) Scott gives him bad, Risky Business-quoting advice that indicates that Bateman should keep turning into Teen Wolf Too. It’s basically McConaughey’s big scene in Wolf of Wall Street, but with CGI Teen Wolf.

    Later, the werewolf hunters close in on Teen Wolf Too, who is rescued by CGI Teen Wolf. CGI Teen Wolf sacrifices himself to save the life of the cousin that he led astray into an empty life of partying. As he succumbs, CGI Teen Wolf returns to his human form, where he is played by actual Michael J. Fox. In his death throes, Fox’s tics don’t mar the performance but arguably enhance it. (Conventional wisdom says that this is in poor taste, but this is the movies. Sometimes poor taste yields powerful results, a la Tod Browning casting actual ‘freaks’ or the kangaroo hunt footage in Wake in Fright. If nothing else, Michael J. Fox gets to do one more movie.)

    Teen Wolf Too resolves his other plots and learns an important lesson, and we had a fun Saturday night watching this on Syfy, where I imagine this would premier.

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <img src=""> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <b> <i> <strike> <em> <strong>