The beast emerges in "Teen Wolf Too," a ho-hum, humdrum sequel to the Michael J. Fox werewolf comedy "Teen Wolf" -- a woof-woofer that hardly deserved an encore. But just like beard stubble, this hirsute genre just keeps on coming back, a proven moneymaker for producers and a metaphor for preadolescents who are about to turn into adults -- monsters just like their parents.
The story is set in a college environment but aims at the 12-and-under crowd, what with frog fights in the science lab and the usual cast of subsophomoric characters -- fat flatulent guy, mean preppy guy, busty bad girl, good flat-chested girl, etc.
Jason Bateman of the TV sitcom "Valerie's Family" replaces Fox as his college-age cousin Todd, whose hormones have belatedly surged. He now desperately needs a shave. His transmogrification from clean-cut freshman science student to big werewolf on campus occurs when he dances with a curvy blond coed. Violence, like sex, brings out the beast in Todd, whose wolfish strength makes him the star of the college boxing team. His newfound popularity goes to his head, and he soon alienates everybody except his studious lab partner Nikki (Estee Chandler). She stands by her wolfman, who acknowledges his mistakes and determines to make up for them.
Bateman is bland and inoffensive in this dopey role, half of which is performed in a cheap hair suit that makes him look like an escapee from a polyester petting zoo. Chandler, however, adds a little luster as the fresh-scrubbed love interest whose pure kiss doesn't raise a hair on Todd's bod. Among the supporting cast, Kim Darby, as the understanding professor, and John Astin, as the villainous dean of men, must need money for their Christmas shopping.
"Teen Wolf Too" is nothing a jar of Nair wouldn't cure.
Teen Wolf Too, at area theaters, is rated PG.