Sunday, October 20, 2013
31 Werewolves | Teen Wolf
I love werewolves and I love Michael J. Fox. Teen Wolf should've been a perfect combination, but that may have been the problem. Seeing it in the theater back in the day, my expectations going into it were extremely high. All Fox had really done up to that point had been Family Ties and Back to the Future, so in my world there was no such thing as even a middling Michael J. Fox project. It was impossible for everything he ever touched to equal those two things and unfortunately, Teen Wolf is what broke the streak.
There's a lot to like about the movie though. Fox, for instance. And James Hampton as his sympathetic and loving father (two traits that can't be taken for granted in '80s teen-movie parents). And I truly love the werewolf design and the journey Fox's character, Scott, makes in coming to terms with who he is. I also love how - once his secret is out - most of the kids at Scott's school accept him. That's a powerful fantasy and I'm glad the movie went there.
But there are other elements that lock Teen Wolf in '80s teen comedy mediocrity. It's been too long since I've seen it, so I don't remember a lot of details, but I do remember Stiles. He was maybe one notch above Mike Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but he was still an insufferable douche who wasn't as cool as he thought he was. I also remember not liking the van-surfing, but I don't recall if I actually thought it was dumb or was just jealous that I couldn't do it too.
Maybe I need to watch this movie again. It could use another visit now that I've got some distance and historical perspective. I still love Michael J. Fox, but with The Hard Way and Life With Mikey behind me, my standards for his vehicles are somewhat lower these days.