Sixteen years after the titular creature struck London, the City of Lights becomes the new area for an American werewolf in this sequel which could have been good except for one small thing.
Andy McDermott is an American traveler in Paris with his best friends Chris and Brad. Andy decides to take a chance one night and bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower. While Chris and Brad think Andy is nuts, they agree to see if he can pull off the stunt. However, the trio sees a young woman who is about to jump off in an attempt to kill herself. However, Andy is able to save her much to her chagrin. Andy soon learns the young woman, Serafine, is not exactly normal when the trio are invited to a party at a local club. That night, Brad is killed by a beast and Andy himself is bitten by another beast.
The next morning, Serafine, who has found Andy and taken him to her home, informs him that he was attacked by a werewolf and he is going to change the next night, when the moon becomes full. At first, Andy doesn’t believe anything. That is, until he sees a zombie Brad, who tells Andy he must find the werewolf who killed him to return to the land of the dead. That night, an encounter with fellow American Amy causes Andy to transform for the first time and kills her along with a local cop. Andy and Serafine soon must work together when they discover there is only one way to stop themselves from transforming while a local gang, led by Claude, are also wolves intent on killing a slew of Americans on the 4th of July.
1981’s An American Werewolf in London perhaps still reigns supreme as one of the best, if not THE best werewolf movie of the last three decades. What stood out was not only the story, but the best werewolf transformation that has yet to be outdone by anyone. The one that earned Rick Baker the first ever Academy Award for Make Up Design. Sixteen years later, we have a sequel that well, no one really expected and perhaps, no one really wanted, but what the heck?
Similar to the original film, we have the story of an American tourist who is doomed when he is bitten by a werewolf and the usual happens. Tom Everett Scott, who had just become a star with his breakout performance in That Thing You Do!, is similar to David Kessler only he lives for danger. After all, he does attempt to bungee jump the Eiffel Tower for kicks until he feels necessary to rescue future love interest Serafine, played by French actress extraordinaire Julie Delpy. It was originally rumored that Serafine was supposed to be the daughter of David Kessler as only her scientist stepfather is seen as a character trying to find a cure to lycanthrophy only to be attacked and spends the film in bed.
Pierre Cosso is pretty vicious as Claude, a gang leader who is connected to the werewolves as his gang are those full of werewolves. He decides to cause trouble by killing Americans by coercing them to party and drink some sort of green stuff only to give them the deadliest reality check they ever had. Rocker/actor Phil Buckman and actor Vince Vieluf are great as Andy’s two friends, one who does survive the entire ordeal despite some misgivings. On the other hand, Vieluf becomes a zombie who helps provide some comic relief alongside Julie Bowen’s undead Amy, who is a victim of our American werewolf and intends to have him killed because if he dies, she can return to the land of the dead.
What stood out in American Werewolf in London was the most amazing transformation sequence seen on celluloid. Rick Baker’s practical effects were so extremely wonderful. However, in an age where CGI was beginning to replace the practical effects, the filmmakers resorted to use this idea. However, this is the big problem of the film. The CGI effects are extremely terrible and even Andy’s first transformation is very unimpressive and where London is the Academy Award when it comes to transformation, then Paris is the Razzie Award of transformation effects as even the werewolves themselves look extremely terrible.
An American Werewolf in Paris had potential thanks to the performances of Tom Everett Scott and Julie Delpy and there was a nice twist with Claude and his gang. But the CGI effects were the reason why this movie is never going to be close to as good as its original film.
WFG RATING: C-
Hollywood Pictures presents a Stonewood Communications and Cometstone Productions film in association with J&M Entertainment, Avrora Media, Delux Production, President Films, and Propaganda Films. Director: Anthony Waller. Producer: Richard Claus. Writers: Tim Burns, Tom Stern, and Anthony Waller; based on “An American Werewolf in London”, written by John Landis. Cinematography: Egon Werdin. Editing; Peter R. Adam.
Cast: Tom Everett Scott, Julie Delpy, Phil Buckman, Vince Vieluf, Julie Bowen, Pierre Cosso, Thierry Lhermitte, Tom Novembre, Maria Machado, Ben Salem Bouadallah.