From aboard the IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con, Kevin Smith talks to the cast of "Teen Wolf" about the solemn yet celebratory panel for the upcoming season. This news and more in our Guide to Comic-Con.
First off: this is a low budget, high concept film with no real pretensions, so don't come looking for deep meanings or Oscar-worthiness here. Second off: despite the frattish central conceit this isn't at all bad, and even manages to suggest, and comment about, matters of male sexual morality etc which much bigger, more earnest productions miss, or labour out of existence with good taste. 'Rich' Johnson, the titular hero, starts off as a helpless philanderer, losing a succession of girlfriends due to his inability to control himself. (He is however not entirely to blame, as one encounter demonstrates). After the most recent occasion of betrayal by him and the ending of another promising relationship thing rather personal separate and Johnson and his johnson have to learn to live with and then apart from one another.
The interesting thing about Bad Johnson is that Johnson's johnson is made human and not just a comic talking appendage. (It could for instance have been portrayed like 'Tonguey' in Kung Pow). Instead what we have is like that old Star Trek episode when the 'good' and the 'bad' Kirk co-exist after a transporter malfunction. The effect of this is to make the change less of a joke which runs out of steam after a few crude scenes, and the situation more susceptible to social comment, as the film ambles from its un-PC beginnings onto something more regular. Ultimately johnson shows himself in his newly independent form as a element of Johnson's ego (significantly this separate existence does not effect Johnson's libido)which is revealed as sometime-objectionable part of the male character. As Johnson gets along without his friend, so does his relationship with women improve and, surprise surprise, he becomes a much more likable fellow. Even if the words he later utters about the need to "say 'no'" seemed to this viewer to take the case against active sexuality a little too far, it is clear that the film does manage to pose some interesting questions about how much of stereotyped maleness is down to selfishness and a lack of self control and yet how both the good and bad parts of Johnson are together necessary for things ultimately to work.
The cinematography and direction are perfectly fine, and the cast acquit themselves well. I had a smile on my face throughout and, for a film like this, its all better than you'd expect.
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