Starring Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, and Emily Blunt
Directed by Joe Johnston (Hidalgo)
Rated R for bloody horror violence and gore
Appropriate for ages 17+
Stage actor Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) returns to his ancestral home land upon hearing that his brother was murdered. While out looking for the murderer, he is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf. Desperate to protect his brother’s fiance (Blunt) and haunted by his family’s past, Lawrence finds himself a danger to both himself and everyone around him once the full moon appears.
Just like the duality of the Wolfman himself, there is a wild and crazy fun part to this movie and a serious, dull, lifeless partition as well. When it’s scary it you are truly on edge. The attacks are fast and furious and full of realism. The special effects and sound mixing are both crazy good which makes the film even more frightening when it needs to be. Hopkins makes for an excellent wild card character, although too much of the story is given away in the trailer that should have been left for the film. Some will find the violence to be a little too much for them and I strongly advise the squeamish not to attend this one.
But then there are the moments when he is human and those are the times when you just want to take a restroom or refreshment break. There is an attempt by the filmmakers to make it seem like the movie is moving in fast forward, but not even that is overly helpful. Maybe the boredom comes because we are so used to the goings on in a film such as this. After all, the story here is not exactly breaking new ground as we have seen it over and over and over again. It’s hard to make a remake of the original Wolfman and freshen it up by just adding modern special effects and production values. Now granted, the story here is slightly slanted from the original 1941 tale, but the conventions are largely the same.
Production-wise, the look and feel of the film are pretty terrific. The cinematography by Shelly Johnson (Hidalgo), and the score by composer Danny Elfman (Spiderman) give the movie a wonderfully eerie ambiance that the film will probably be best known for years from now. B-