…having assessed the previous film in this franchise as still fresh, a quick look at this misbegotten sequel reveals quite the opposite. John Landis did write a sequel to his 1981 horror comedy hit, but the studio turned it down and went their own way with this follow up, which feels more like American Pie in Paris. Gone are the two genial American tourists of the original, now we have a Road Trip scenario of sex-hungry yanks looking for action and falling foul of a band of werewolves in French France, although little is made of the culture clash here.
Anthony Waller’s film at least has a neat idea at the start; a nurse stealing a heart. The nurse is Serafine, played by Julie Delpy, an ideal choice for a seductive werewolf. She’s witnessed in the act by Andy (Tom Everett Scott) who is recuperating after saving Serafine from a suicide attempt on top of the Eifel tower. That’s something of a co-incidence, but then again, any film that ends with the protagonists dangling on bungee ropes from the Statue of Liberty is hardly to be trusted. Andy and his pals trace the werewolf clan to a set of warring forces, which the future of their heritage in the balance.
With none of the pawky British humour, or the religious aspects featured previously, An American Werewolf in Paris throws in an expanded universe that picks up some of the key scenes (hospitals, car crashes, subway stalkings, talking corpses, transformations) and yet misses out on the bigger picture. The werewolves have evolved a serum that allows them to change at any time, which kind of throws shade over the full moon angle. And Andy and Serafine end up fighting against the bad werewolves, making this much more of a conventional action film, even if the central characters are entirely resistible.
In short, this is something of a bust, with a pitifully weak seam of humour in place of the original’s personality. The CGI is Playstation 2 crummy, the scares are non-existent, and even the laughs are MIA. Waller deserves some credit for ringing changes, but none of the changes stick, and Paris is a poor imitation of London. Remake rights for the original film seem to pop up every so often, but the moral here is that some great films, like sleeping dogs, should be left well alone.