Teen Wolf: The Movie review – a convoluted gluttonous mess

By Marc Miller
Published: January 26, 2023 (Last updated: January 28, 2023)


Teen Wolf: The Movie is a convoluted gluttonous mess that had me howling with laughter for all the wrong reasons.

We review the Paramount+ film Teen Wolf: The Movie, which does not contain spoilers.

You’ll never find a more closed-circuit film than Teen Wolf: The Movie, a film that is so set in its ways it’s virtually impossible to follow along. Of course, unless you are a devoted fan of the MTV series that debuted over a decade ago. Or maybe if you have read every ending explained of this soapy, supernatural horror series ever written, you will be in the dark for the majority of the never-ending experience. Thank goodness this resurrection is streaming on Paramount+. Why? So you can pause and google the subplots to your frustrated heart’s content.

Teen Wolf: The Movie Review and Plot Summary

The teen drama — now played by mostly middle-of-the-pack thirty-something adults — picks up with most of the key players returning, not to mention the return of a major one at Beacon Hills. Scott McFall (Tyler Posey) is about to get the shock of his life. That’s because Allison (Crystal Reed) returns after a series of unfortunate events occur. You see, the Big Bad Nogitsune is in town looking for revenge. He successfully brings back what appears to be a handful of disappearing ghostly Ninjas known as the Oni. These bad guys start rolling in for action in packs of three or more. Anyone they cut with a knife turns into a cloud of black smoke and disappears.

This sets off a chain reaction of returning Banshees, Werecoyotes, Kitsunes, Shapeshifters, and Hellhounds that triggers Nogitsune’s plan — bringing Allison back from the dead. When she does, she has no memory and is back in werewolf-fighting mode, trying to kill off every eye-glowing, high-jumping, fire-burning howler for good, including Derek Hale’s (Tyler Hoechlin) teenage son, Eli (Vince Mattis). He is an uncoordinated lacrosse player who adorably passes out at first sight of his own fangs

Teen Wolf: The Movie was written by the series creator Jeff Davis, who never met a horror cliche he didn’t like. His script attempts to bring back too many characters, beloved to hated. The story is brimming with needless nostalgia that there is no room for improvement to gain new fans. This is a strange concept since this is one part of three movie projects for Paramount+. Has Davis written a film franchise, and series spinoff concept Wolf Pack, that only wants to appear in a show that averages little over a half million viewers? A rating, even for the coveted young demographic, that would have had these handsome, beautiful faces even canceled off the CW?

The other frustrating ridiculousness of the script is it’s written like a network television pilot. The show is written almost precisely every 15-20 minutes with a humorous development, character death, or plot twist that’s vexing. Network shows are written to keep viewers interested between commercial breaks, which is the same head-scratching choice here. To make the point, a significant character in the middle of the movie has a death scene. Yet, they mysteriously talk in an ambulance in the next shot. And yes, I caught on to the self-healing powers of these characters’ backgrounds, abilities, and healing powers of some amazing five-o’clock shadows (here’s looking at you, Hoechlin). Still, I cannot tell you how much this affects the film’s natural pacing with zero equilibrium.

Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, Resident Evil: Extinction) directed the film and is a perfect choice because he never found a neon light he didn’t like. The film’s excessively wolfish 149-minute runtime is marred by the lightning-quick cuts and sudden werewolf attack that leaves the pissed-off human pooch in suspended animation, which is uneven. The acting is terrible, obviously from Poesy, but even from Hoechlin, who has had a nice career since Road to Perdition, and The Wire’s always-reliable Seth Gilliam. Of course, the dialogue doesn’t help matters.

Is Teen Wolf: The Movie good?

Teen Wolf: The Movie is a convoluted epic mess that had me howling with laughter for all the wrong reasons. Jeff Davis’s universe, to what I almost have to expect is a Netflix inside job planning to implode Paramount+ to steal Taylor Sheridan away, is gluttonous. His film is strictly for the original series diehards and nothing more.

What did you think of the film Teen Wolf: The Movie? Comment below.

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