Movie Review: The Wolfman

Movie Review: The Wolfman

Summary: Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is bitten by a werewolf and now he is cursed as a werewolf.

Published February 14, 2010

wolfmanSummary : Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro ) is bitten by a werewolf and now he is cursed as a werewolf. The town hunts him down, family secrets are revealed and the hairy beast manages to find love.

Review : I used to think Benicio Del Toro couldn't pick a bad movie. His list of films are practically flawless.  Unfortunately, The Wolfman leaves a gash in the Oscar winner’s resume -- but, hey, everybody gets one. The only thing The Wolfman has going for is the Hollywood gloss -- when it's not padded with unrealistic CGI. The director, Joe Johnston , managed to capture the grit of 1890s London, but that is the solitary redeeming piece of this flick.

The Wolfman tries to be a respectable horror film, but it gushes with uppity dialogue, bad accents and huge plot holes. The movie is only a few horror screams away from being as bad as Friday The 13th . I'd rather watch Teen Wolf on repeat than yawn through The Wolfman again.  It's the type of movie where you can fall asleep for 20 minutes, wake up and realize you didn't miss a thing.

Flaws that shoot a bullet through the heart of The Wolfman : Humans morph into werewolves at a full moon -- well, in 1891 London there is a full moon every night. Nightly, the hairy beast is pouncing around London howling at the moon and snapping off human limbs. Is this consistent full moon a mystical sign of global warming from the Victorian-era? Maybe they should've added an environmental plot line and, to make it even sillier, a cameo from PETA -- I think wolves being depicted in a ghastly movie like this is a better fight than Kelis . But, I digress...

There are some interesting scenes, particularly when Del Toro morphs into a werewolf in front of a crowd of skeptics. It's the one scene where everything is bright (if lighting was actually like this movie in real life, Joan Rivers would never need plastic surgery!), and we get to properly see the transformation. However, what dampens these entertaining transformation scenes is one has to believe that his clothes are made out of lycra because this werewolf somehow fits into his gear even when he grows double his size in seconds -- maybe he wears Spanx!

Going the romance route can easily demolish a "horror" flick, which is what happened in The Wolfman .  Imagine if Jodie Foster found love with Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs ?  Emily Blunt as the constantly sobbing damsel made the movie feel like a bloody Bridget Jones Diary with a hairier male lead.

Thankfully, the acting is strong but not even Del Toro and the legendary Anthony Hopkins can save this flick. The Wolfman is a remake from 1941 and further proof that some classics need to remain in their time. But, just like werewolves are cursed, so is the film. According to published reports, the movie was re-edited several times, the release date pushed back (originally scheduled to be released in November 2008) and scenes were re-shot. Looks like The Wolfman never had a chance to truly howl.

The Wolfman is in theaters today.

Written by Clay Cane


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