Movie Review: An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

Synopsis: Andy McDermott travels to Paris with his friends, Brad and Chris and sneak onto the Eiffel Tower after hours so Andy can bungee jump off the side. As he is preparing to perform his stunt, an attractive woman, Serafine, attempts to commit suicide by jumping off the tower. Andy performs a miraculous save then tracks her down, hoping to find out more about her. Unfortunately for Andy, Seraphine is a werewolf and when he and his friends are invited to a party by one of her werewolf associates, Brad is killed and Andy is bitten, making him a werewolf too.

Who's in it? The movie stars Tom Everett Scott, Julie DelpyVince Vieluf, Phil Buckman and Julie Bowen.

Review: My wife and I watched An American Werewolf in London a couple nights ago and enjoyed it enough to give the sequel, An American Werewolf in Paris, a try. Since the two movies were made 16 years apart and I am skeptical of sequels to begin with, my expectations were set pretty low when we started watching this. Sadly, the film didn't even live up to those lowered standards.

It's really hard to put a finger on everything this movie did wrong. For most purposes, it really is less of a sequel and probably closer to a reboot with the same basic plot. Yet, despite having more limitations as far as special effects go, the London werewolf movie was far superior.

I guess, to start, the beforementioned special effects were surprisingly crappy. The werewolves look nothing like werewolves, probably closer to gargoyles or maybe even Muppets, and the blood and gore scenes just didn't win me over from a realism standpoint. The severed arms and legs, for example, looked like props. For a movie that should have had a lot more limitations, the film made nearly two decades earlier was considerably better in this regard.

Another thing was what I mentioned before about this film feeling more like a reboot, set in a different location, than a sequel. There was little effort made to connect this with the original film and as mentioned, the plots weren't that different from each other. If I wanted to re-watch the first film, I would have.

The movie also tries to be funnier than it needs to be. Mixing comedy with horror is fine but the various gags do tend to fall flat when people are being viciously killed. The scene where Andy (Scott) is on a date immediately after Brad (Vieluf), for example, doesn't work because it detracts from the fact Scott should be in mourning. 

I'm going to make the same complaint about the film's happy ending too. I'm not saying the main protagonists deserved to live. I'm just saying they did kill and eat a bunch of innocent people and it kind of feels like that got glossed over a bit too much.

Final Opinion: The movie has some funny moments and I especially loved Bowen's Amy Finch character. However, I think the movie tried a little too hard to be funny and not hard enough to be unique from the movie it essentially copied with the exception of a few details. It's not very good as a result.

My Grade: D


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