A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Teen Wolf Too is the 1987 sequel to Teen Wolf, with Jason Bateman playing the Michael J. Fox teen-turns-werewolf role. The rest of the cast, writers, and director are also different from the popular original, and whatever merits the former movie might have had are entirely absent from this installment. The teen's werewolf symptoms appear unexpectedly during his college freshman year this time, and unlike the earlier film's focus on basketball, this time the sport is boxing, so expect hard-hitting bouts with appropriate sound effects but no blood. Girls in revealing underwear and bathing suits are seen. Teens kiss and it's suggested that students are having sex behind closed doors, but nothing is shown. A college student smokes a cigar.
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- Kids say
What's the story?
An undergrad science geek named Todd (Jason Bateman) turns werewolf in TEEN WOLF TOO. The transformation attracts the attention of pretty college girls and somehow suddenly imbues the unathletic lad with a talent for boxing. Happy to abandon his social awkwardness, he also abandons all that is good in himself: his earnest good nature, studious diligence, decency, and vulnerability. He exchanges those qualities for self-indulgence, insensitivity, disloyalty, reckless driving, and smug self-satisfaction. Eventually he recognizes the errors of his ways and attempts to do his best without the assistance of his supernatural powers.
Is it any good?
This charmless, unfunny comedy boasts no redeeming features whatsoever. The filmmakers waste no time in telegraphing Teen Wolf Too's singular badness, opening with a terribly directed, written, and acted scene featuring a frothing Rottweiler and a terrified boxing coach in a college dean's office. In addition to inept conception and execution, the plot also seems to fly in the face of the essential conflict that generally fuels such stories. Isn't the problem with being a werewolf that the person has no control over when that embarrassing wolfiness strikes? In this story, Todd becomes a wolf at will and uses the strength and ferocity it instills in him to pound boxing competitors into submission.
Additionally, the earlier film -- featuring wolfication onset at an earlier age -- poses the uncontrolled rage and hairiness as a parallel to the difficult transition to adulthood that puberty brings. No such depth exists here. This is billed as a comedy, but there is little to howl at, except the fact that Todd looks far more like a monkey than a wolf.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why being (partly) a wolf would make a person a good boxer. How does Teen Wolf Too show a connection between wolf qualities and boxing prowess?
Do you think it was a mistake to make this sequel with different actors and writers? Why, or why not?
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