Movie Name: The Wolfman
Studio: Relativity Media
Release Date(s): January 27, 2010 (Premiere)/February 12, 2010 (US)
MPAA Rating: R
When Ben Talbot (Simon Merrells) is killed, his brother Lawrence (Benicio del Toro) is called home by Ben’s fiancée Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). Lawrence finds himself attacked and realizes he has been cursed by a werewolf. As his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins) questions if Lawrence’s insanity has returned, Lawrence worries that the next full moon will unleash the beast in him…but not all is what it seems as the Wolfman stalks the woods.
Directed by Joe Johnston, The Wolfman is a loose remake of the 1941 horror classic. The movie received negative reviews and poor box office return. The movie won Academy Award for Best Makeup.
The Wolf Man was my monster growing up. He lived under the bed and threatened to grab my feet. I finally got to see the movie and loved it…despite not being as good as movies like Frankenstein, it was my personal favorite Universal Monster. I was excited for The Wolfman but massively disappointed when I saw it. Due to the story, a ******spoiler alert****** is active for the review.
The problem with the movie is the script. The script for The Wolf Man is pretty flimsy but it is also only seventy minutes. This movie stretches the film by adding a whole bunch of family issues to the story and a second werewolf which is hardly a spoiler since Hopkins’ character is crazy through the whole thing. It is messy and sloppy…Lawrence’s tortured character in the original had heart, but it feels like a special effects blow-out here.
Benicio del Toro was a great choice for Talbot (who like the original Wolf Man, doesn’t look or act like his father). Anthony Hopkins is completely over-the-top as Sir John Talbot who is completely insane from first appearance…he doesn’t build and he doesn’t work. Emily Blunt plays the nice fiancée and Hugo Weaving plays the real life investigator Francis Aberline (who was part of the Jack the Ripper investigation and was played by Johnny Depp in From Hell). The movie also features appearances by Geraldine Chaplin, Rick Baker, and Max von Sydow.
The movie is all flash, but it is pretty good flash. The special effects are quite good. There have been multiple werewolf transformations, but this movie also creates a great atmosphere through fog filled woods and light from a massive full moon.
The Wolfman is a bad movie with a great cast (which can’t decide if they are in a bad movie). The movie shows that special effects can’t drive a picture. The movie tried to act like it was a drama that happened to be a horror. Despite an R-Rating and werewolves, the movie isn’t much of a horror film or a drama…it is another case of just watch the original (and it will take less time).