Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story (2005) starring Yank Azman, Ryan Jefferson Booth, J. Adam Brown, Tyler Hynes, Christopher Jacot directed by John L'Ecuyer Movie Review

Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story (2005)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Tyler Hynes in Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story (2005)

Battling Back

On his first day at High School Jonathan Wamback (Tyler Hynes) spots a group of boys bullying a younger student and intervenes. It is a trait he gets from his mum who seeing the same boys tormenting little children in the park intervenes but is rebuffed when she speaks to one of the gangs mum's who won't listen to her complaints. Jon's fearless good guy nature leads to further conflicts with the gang and an alliance with a couple of guys who are equally as tired of the gang's reign of terror. But it makes him enemy number one and one day he is duped into going to the park where the gang jump him and beat him to a pulp to the point he ends up in hospital on a life support machine. Eventually the gang behind it are caught but Jonathan's life is changed for ever.

Spoiler alert, I don't like spoiling movies but to review "Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story" which is also known as "Tagged: The Jonathan Wamback Story" I need to tell you more than I normally would. In truth this isn't a huge issue as "Terrorised by Teens" is based on a true story and so many will watch this already aware of what happened.

Christopher Jacot in Terrorised by Teens: The Jonathan Wamback Story (2005)

Now you can divide "Terrorised by Teens" in to 3 parts with the first part looking at teen bullying as Jonathan encounters the bullies at school and whilst not initially the victim makes a stand against them. At the same time it broaches other teen issues from romance to friendship, trying to paint a complete picture of teen life. It is typical and semi-realistic when it comes to the gang who twist things to make it appear that Jonathan is a trouble maker whilst his father brushes aside the bullying as just teenage hijinx. I say semi-realistic because it has that manufactured feel, not in feeling overly dramatic but in not feeling entirely natural as there is an awkwardness to the way the actors play their characters and interact.

This leads to Jonathan eventually becoming a victim when he is nearly beaten to death by the gang and the 2nd part of the movie as whilst Jonathan ends up in hospital on life support we see the fight for justice. Of course this causes Jonathan's father to be angered by the violence which his son was a victim off having brushed it aside earlier on when his wife mentioned the gang's antics in the park with cherry bombs. And then there is the third part, the survivor part as Jonathan faces a slow rehabilitation and a changed life as having to climb stairs becomes his new fight.

All of which is an effective drama about teen bullying and an interesting look at a teen who finds himself having to fight to survive after getting involved. But as I said it is awkward with actors often feeling like they are not entirely comfortable with their characters. It also lacks a touch of polish and often feels like a low budget movie made by a group of friends, even parents who feel the need to tell Wamback's story. That isn't to say the story isn't worthy of being told as it certain is but just lacks that finish to make it feel complete.

What this all boils down to is that "Terrorised by Teens" is an effective TV movie based on a true story but one which suffers from feeling awkward and low budget.