Teen Wolf: The Movie is Crushed by its Own Obese Mythology

Back in the day, I used to watch Teen Wolf on MTV.  I rather liked it, actually.  I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the actors, I enjoyed the supernatural elements, the monsters, and the story archs.  I’ll even say that the Void Stiles season is one of the best seasons of television I’ve ever seen.  

And then the show got bad and I mean really bad.  It became bogged down in its own mythos, unable to move forward into anything substantial because it kept dipping into its own plodding backstory that got more and more obese with every episode.  

The plots gave way to melodrama, actors disappeared without the show even marking their passing, and by the last season, the series was a muddy, incomprehensible mess bereft of anything that made it special in the first place.

When news broke that they were making a Teen Wolf reunion movie, I was skeptical of what this might mean.  On one hand, it could be another frustrating slog, a continuation of a serialized drama so lost in itself that it’s inaccessible to new viewers and so wrapped up in its own convoluted mythology that it even confuses long time fans such as myself.  Let’s face it, it’s been six years since the series took its final, pathetic bow.  Even I, someone who watched every great episode and tortured myself with the worst of the show had forgotten so much about it as it had all but disappeared into obscurity.

Then again, this could also be a new birth.  A chance to start over, have a soft reboot and bring new fans into the pack.  This could be a new genesis where a younger generation of viewers could enjoy a series anew.

I’m just kidding, of course, it’s more complicated and convoluted slop!

Teen Wolf: The Movie from MTV Films, now streaming on Paramount Plus, picks up about 15 years after the television series which begs the question:  Why is this even called Teen Wolf anymore?  Everyone in this movie is in their thirties!  I know… I know… this is a not so subtle back door pilot for a new Teen Wolf spinoff with an actual Teen Wolf, but it still strikes me as kind of silly.

A sinister force has unleashed the evil Nogitsune, a demon who seeks revenge, I think, against the middle-aged werewolf, Scott McCall and his pack of assorted werewolves, were-coyotes, kanima, banshees, and man, this show is complicated.   Also, Scott’s old girlfriend, Allison, is brought back to life and wants to kill werewolves and doesn’t remember any of her friends or that her boyfriend is a werewolf or that he’s even her boyfriend at all… also, some demon ninjas are back and there’s lacross and… there’s a lot.

As a long time viewer of the show, I was surprised by how much of my time was taken up by trying to remember who was who, what was what, and why was why.  Who is the woman with Liam?  What is a Hell Hound again?  Why is the Nogitsune trying to kill everyone?

This is a movie that makes the baffling choice to continue a television series’ plot that no one remembers and basically slams the door shut in the face of anyone who might want to join in and see what all the fuss is about.

It is a slog to sit through.  Sure, we have Coach and, man, it’s been a while since we were blessed with the comedic gold mine that is Orny Addam’s Coach, but on the other hand, Dylan O’Brien’s Stiles is notably absent which is a shame because Stiles was the beating heart of the series and, without him, it’s decidedly bland…er… A lot like that last season he wasn’t in.  Well, just call Dylan O’Brien Neo in this case because it looks like he’s dodged a bullet.

If you’re a Teen Wolf superfan who has been endlessly binging this nearly forgotten series non stop since it went off the air, I don’t know, maybe you’ll enjoy it enough to make it worth your while, but I found it confusing, confounding, and sappy.  It was as if someone gave the showrunner a lot of money and said, “Here, make a new episode and act like you haven’t been off the air for six years.”

This movie is quite literally its own worst enemy, crushed under the weight of its own mythology, a mythology that should have been left in the past for something new and exciting, something that might actually kick off a new series or a new franchise of movies starring the young, new Teen Wolf, Eli.  However, the resulting movie is a chore, it’s not enjoyable, its frequently confusing – I swear, at least twice I saw characters die only to show up a scene later – and and, worst of all, it’s boring.  It’s just boring.

I can abide bad, but I can’t abide boring and a movie about werewolves fighting demon ninjas while the fate of a town hangs on the outcome of a game of lacross should not be this boring. 

My opinion:  It was better off canceled and it’s a shame because there was no reason for the movie to be this bad.  It was a choice.  A very bad choice.

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