Film Review – The Wolfman

After watching the trailers for this movie I got really excited to see it and then came the delays and even more delays though my anticipation for the movie didn’t dwindle it actually increased. So roll on the 10th of February and all I can say is my anticipation fell that fast like like the fall of Troy.

The Wolfman 2010 is the modernised 21 st century version of the Lorne Chaney 1941 masterpiece, the classic story of a lycanthrope love (horror) story. So the setting is the late 1880/1890’s England actor Lawerence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is returning home to help in the search for the brother who has drastically disappeared. He returns at the request of his brother widowed fiance Gwen (Emily Blunt) back to his father’s(Anthony Hopkins) crumbling estate. The prodigal son finally goes home and we first see all is not well on the homefront. Over time Lawerence and Gwen do fall for each other but before this love affair could blossom, Lawerence falls prey to a Lycan’s kiss (bite) after he confronted the beast himself, from here everything just goes bumped in the night.

When I mention my anticipation drastically changed it was probably down to my typical high anticipated attitude I had for this flick rather going into the movie open minded and not to expect a lot. If you wanted action you get it from the first minute as the wolf does his best impression of leaving the mark of zorro on its intended victim with its razor sharp claws. Along with the actions, there’s enough blood and guts for us all as director Joe Johnston doesn’t shy on the slashed entrails, severed body parts, ghastly wounds and torn flesh that even gore masters like Romero or Argento would be proud of.

This version is really more homage to the 1941 classic than a horror story. We get plenty of the campness of Del Toro’s howling wolf whistles, his running around the London rooftops along with his best impression of Bruce Banner after transforming back to human form in his hulk style fashion statement tattered clothes.

As for the acting, well what acting? Benicio Del Toro acted more like Droopy the Dog than fang face, at times he was so monotone and looked stressed but you would get more action from a plank of wood. As for Anthony Hopkins, you know what to expect from him and you either like it or you don’t, as for Hugo Weavings I have to say he was the best of the bunch with his passionate and more believable performance. Sadly Emily Blunt‘s character was so harshly underused with this been a love story which was more like a father/son relationship.

Positive points about this movie where the majority of the CGI simply because it would have too expensive to try to recreate 19th-century gothic London so you have to use next best thing CGI. When you have an oscar winner artist on board the team(Rick Baker) you expect high quality and when that man was responsible for the most famous man morphing into a werewolf in John Landis American Werewolf in London. So when Del Toro changes into Wolfie it felt like he had a bad case of constipation. My compliments for the CGI disappeared when the Van Helsing style WWE appeared at the end all it was missing was the cheesy costumes & intro music and the half naked females. More and more your eyes were opened to the inhouse fighting, reshoots and changes of personnel that really caused this move been a potential great movie.

When someone is to be entertain its to provke a human sense be it to laugh, smile, anger or cry you have been entertained in some form. This movie did make me laugh after several bad weeks for myself and was only reason for my end score (along with Weaving’s performance). The movie overall is loyal to the original with some loving blood and guts also thrown in for good measure. If they remembered to write a good script, add the horror, the passion along with stop the fighting this would have been a good one, I was entertained but nothing less or nothing more.

If there was no Hugo Weaving or I was able to laugh, The Wolfman would have been lucky to get 2 stars.

★★★| Paul Devine

Horror, Fantasy | USA, 2010 | 15 | 12th February 2010 | Universal Pictures | Dir. Joe Johnston | Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving


Originally Posted at The Peoples Movies | 22nd February 2010

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