Director: Joe Johnston
Actors: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
Benicio Del Toro plays the role of Lawrence Talbot in the horror remake The Wolfman, which is based on Universal's monster classic. The familiar story of a man bitten by a werewolf who suddenly has to experience the transformation himself, has been told numerous of times. The Wolfman stays true to the tone of the original and adds an interesting twist or two. The other cast members include Anthony Hopkins as the father, Emily Blunt is Gwen, the fiancée of Talbot's brother, and the always great Hugo 'Agent Smith' Weaving plays the role of Scotland Yard inspector Abberline.
Creature effects guru Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in Londen, Thriller) is back to create the werewolf transformation, in which the filmmakers use a perfect mix of CG and practical effects. The detailed shape shifting performance of Del Toro is shocking, but unfortunately, when The Wolfman appears in all its glory, isn't scary most of the time. This also has a big impact as the movie progresses, up to its final battle. The disappointing performance of the rest of the cast also falls flat. The audience doesn't get caught up in the story, making The Wolfman depend on the blood drenched horror scenes only.
The reason The Wolfman doesn't work on several levels, is probably due to the bumpy production of the flick. Director Mark Romanek got replaced by Joe Johnston, Danny Elfman got fired and later on hired again, the release date got delayed several times because of re-shoots and adding more VFX. In the end, the movie feels off balance and rushed.
You gotta give credit to Joe Johnston though, who had a very short time to prepare, and he succeeds in creating a creepy atmosphere and wonderful visuals. The Wolfman is an okay horror flick, with lots of blood 'n guts and impressive transformations, but I'd expected a lot more, especially with a great cast like this.
Written by Reggy 10/02/10
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