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IN SHORT: Half a howl.
Once upon a time there was an entire sub-industry in the Hollywood studio system devoted to making "B" pictures. They weren't well written, they weren't well acted or directed (though there were the exceptions) but the men were studly and the women were beautiful. The theater seats were filled with popcorn munching patrons and everyone went home happy.
If you walk into An American Werewolf in Paris without any expectations, you'll probably walk out bemused. John Landis injected the first flick in this series with a heavy dose of humor, and the studio is seeking to build a franchise -- there being lots of cities in the world that American tourists love to see. (Which is as good a time as any to remind you that Cranky makes no comparison to Source Material. Go out and rent London, I ain't talking.)
So we start with three grunge dressed Gen X American boy studs on a daredevil tour of Europe. Next destination: Paris. Intent: major bungee jumping. But a fairly clever suicide rescue sequence brings Andy (Tom Everett Scott) face to face with Serafine (Julie Delpy). She vanishes into the night and he's got to track her down, lovestruck sucker that he is.
That's where the wolves come in.
An American Werewolf in Paris suffers from what I'll call "I'm watching it too" syndrome. Andy, and his friends seem to know everything the audience has seen (even though they haven't been in those scenes). It's a sloppy script, in terms of story continuity, but when you're trying to be all things to all people, you've got to get lots of stuff in. So there's a werewolf cult (some malarky about werewolves being genetically healthier than human scum) and lots of jokes about "loving Americans". As in raw.
Everything else necessary is there. You have to have blood. You've got to have yuks (in this case, the ghosts of the dead come back to haunt the wolf that killed 'em). You've got to have a bimbo (in this case the very adorable Julie Bowen). And you've got to have cool special effects.
They're special, all right, but not overwhelming. The werewolves are all CGI animations, and they just don't look great -- not that Cranky knows what real werewolves look like, it's a judgement call. Some of Werewolf is very clever, but most of the people Cranky talked with walked out of Werewolf calling it "stupid."
Most all had smiles on their faces, though.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to An American Werewolf in Paris, he would have paid . . .
An American Werewolf in Paris is a B picture. Make of it what you will.
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