Wednesday, February 8, 2023

‘Teen Wolf: The Movie’ Review: An Emotional Rollercoaster With Unanswered Questions

MOVIES'Teen Wolf: The Movie' Review: An Emotional Rollercoaster With Unanswered Questions

When news of Teen Wolf: The Movie was first announced, I was unsure of how to feel. Without Stiles and Kira, would it feel the same? It also left a lot of questions. Where is Stiles? Is Roscoe the Jeep okay? Is Allison really herself? HOW did Eli Hale come to be? While they answered some of those, a lot is still unanswered.

In Teen Wolf: The Movie, a full moon rises in Beacon Hills, and with it, a terrifying evil has emerged. The wolves are howling once again, calling for the return of banshees, werecoyotes, hellhounds, Kitsunes, and every other shapeshifter in the night. But only a werewolf like Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), no longer a teenager yet still an alpha, can both gather new allies and reunite trusted friends to fight back against what could be the most powerful and deadliest enemy they’ve ever faced.

Teen Wolf: The Movie certainly carries the nostalgia factor for fans of the show. A lot of fan-favorite characters are returning, and they refer to the original series occasionally. Though, as proven in the past, “canon” carries a much different definition in Teen Wolf. The cast hasn’t missed a beat, as they all stepped back into their roles with ease. The comedic timing and banter between them felt just like old times, watching old friends catch up after years apart.

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Vince Mattis, who plays Derek’s 15-year-old son Eli, is one of the newest additions alongside Amy L. Workman, who plays Hikari Zhang, a Kitsune. Mattis particularly shines, giving a standout performance in the film’s latter half. An impulsive, rebellious young werewolf, he and Hoechlin play well off of each other, and Mattis breathes new life into the Teen Wolf universe. I will say, because I know it’s the enormous elephant in the room, the absence of Dylan O’Brien’s Stiles Stilinski is very much felt. Stiles is deeply engrained into Teen Wolf, and while nobody can replace him, Mattis is the missing piece they desperately needed to fill that void.

The pacing toward the end is a little too quick. Trying to fit so much story into the last 20-25 minutes while simultaneously wrapping up all the loose ends leaves a lot to be desired. It’s not perfect, but it does set up an interesting future for the Teen Wolf universe. With Jeff Davis inking a multi-year deal with Paramount+ in 2021, only time will tell if anything comes to fruition.

The film does its best to stay faithful to the fans, but be prepared to undergo a rollercoaster of emotions across the 2-hour time frame. Teen Wolf: The Movie is an action-packed, emotional, full-circle conclusion to one of the most popular teen series of all time.

Catch Teen Wolf: The Movie when it premieres exclusively on Paramount+ this Thursday, January 26.

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