Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wolfman

The WolfmanRelease Date: February 12th, 2010

Click here for The Wolfman Trailer.

Lawrence Talbot(Benicio del Toro) has not been back to his home in Blackmoor, England for many years, but when he receives word from his sister-in-law Gwen(Emily Blunt) that his brother Ben has gone missing, Lawrence decides to return to his family's estate and figure out what happened. As soon as Lawrence arrives in his home his father, Sir John Talbot(Anthony Hopkins), informs Lawrence that his brother's body was found in a ditch just before he arrived.

Lawrence inspects his brother's corpse and discovers a medallion that came from a nearby Gypsy camp. Lawrence meets with Maleva(Geraldine Chaplin), who gave the medallion to Lawrence's brother. Maleva informs Lawrence that his brother was killed by a werewolf. As the too converse, the werewolf attacks the camp and eviscerates most of the people there. Lawrence witnesses the wolf giving chase to a young boy and as he tries to save him, Lawrence is bitten on the neck by the beast. After the incident, Inspector Francis Aberline(Hugo Weaving) arrives in Blackmoor to investigate the horrible killings.

Not trusting one another, both Lawrence and Aberline try to discover exactly what is killing the people around Blackmoor and it is up to them to stop the beast if anyone is to be safe again.

It has been almost 70 years since the original story of The Wolfman was told and director Joe Johnston aims to rejuvenate the iconic character for the modern age.

Taking one of the most iconic characters in all of horror and doing a remake is a tricky business for many directors. You want to make the original in your own right but at the same time you do not want to tarnish what made the original move great. As with all remakes or re-imaginings, there are going to be things that stick out from the original and things that let you know the movie is unique.

So lets get into my review. I was particularly interested in this movie when I first heard about it. I have always known about the Wolfman story and character and thought it was very cool that they were doing a remake. I really wanted to see this move because it was different from the typical werewolf movies we see today (Twilight, Underworld). The werewolf in The Wolfman brought a whole different aspect to how a werewolf would look, giving it a design that more closely resembled a human than a wolf. The movie did a fantastic job of recreating how the original Wolfman looked back in 1941 and this one looked great.

On that note, the special effects in the movie were very well done. The transformation from man to Wolfman looked very disturbing and realistic and you could actually feel the pain of the transformation. The special effects with the ore was also very good. If there is one thing this movie is not lacking it is gore. The Wolfman ripped apart his victims, literally. The movie was full of more slashing, gashing and dismemberment than you could shake a stick at at it was cool. The way the Wolfman killed his victims in the film really drove in the sense of feral bloodlust. The Wolfman didn't kill to feed or to turn others into werewolves, he killed to kill and was not shy about it. The brutality of the creature in this film was definitely a plus. For me it really brought out the character of the Wolfman and the monster that he really is.

As for the acting it had its highs and lows. Anthony Hopkins was very good as Sir John Talbot. He brought an estranged creepiness to his character that reminded me a bit of his Silence of the Lambs performance. Throughout the whole movie I just got this uneasy feeling whenever Hopkins came on screen and it made him a joy to watch. Hugo Weaving added his professional swagger to the film as the proud Scotland Yard Inspector. I greatly enjoy Weaving's performances (Lord of the Rings, The Matrix). He has this presence about him that is just solid. With most of his performances you get the impression that he is the real deal and he does what he wants. Weaving all around just gave a solid performance.

But not all performances were top notch. I wasn't too impressed with Benicio del Toro's performance, which wouldn't be so bad if her wasn't the lead. I'm not going to say that del Toro's performance was terrible, but it wasn't fantastic either. Some of the delivery of his lines seemed off character wise and I just wasn't blown away by the acting. But it wasn't just the acting that bothered me. If you can't tell by his name, Benicio del Toro is Puerto Rican. That's great but the only problem is that his character is English and his father is white. The other thing is that del Toro's character did not have an English accent while everybody else in the movie did. This just makes things awkward. I will say that the director did try to justify this by showing a flashback of Lawrence's mother who appeared to be dark skinned and by saying that he lived with his aunt in America for a majority of his life but this just seemed like a quick add in to make things make sense. But if you can get past that (and trust me, its easy to do) the story is otherwise very good.

I had heard complaints from some people that the story had no substance and didn't make sense but I strongly disagree. I found the plot to be fulfilling with a good substance and even a little bit of a twist at the end that made things exciting and, possibly, left room for a sequel, I'll let you be the judge of that though. Overall I was happy with The Wolfman. I thought the action was good, the story was solid and the acting, for the most part, was up to par. There were scenes that added depth and scenes that make you jump out of your seat. If you like horror movies or are a fan of the old school Wolfman then you will probably be happy with Johnston's remake. The Wolfman brings back the old school werewolf look and style and delivers a movie that we don't typically see anymore.

I give The Wolfman 8 Feral Wolf Children out of 10.

1 comment:

  1. Just watched the trailer of this movie using the link that you have given and read the whole review. I am impressed with your art of writing. Its the best review that I have read so far on this movie.