Halloween, Horror, Werewolf

The Wolfman (2010)

0 Comments 20 October 2010

The Wolfman Movie 2010 PosterThe Wolfman (2010)
Universal Studios
Theatrical Release: February 12, 2010

Director: Joe Johnston
Rated R

by James Klein

Maybe Hollywood is bored with remaking horror films from the 1970’s and 80’s so they now have decided to remake older films like 1941’s Lon Chaney Jr. classic. By casting Anthony Hopkins and setting the film in London in the late 1890’s, it seemed that this remake was on the right track. After huge delays, the director was eventually fired and replaced by Joe (Jumaji) Johnson and Rick Baker’s werewolf make-up effects were abandoned and replaced with lazy CGI. But The Wolfman‘s biggest problem is the story itself.

When actor Laurence Talbot’s (a mis-cast Benicio Del Toro) brother is missing and his fiancé (Emily Blunt, sleep walking through her role) asks for his help, Talbot goes back to his old home where his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins) still lives. While there he is attacked by a werewolf and is bitten. Now Talbot is cursed with the mark of the werewolf. The problem with the film is that there are two separate stories going on at the same time, one with Talbot and the other with his father and the “twist” that is given just doesn’t work at all. There is no drama built around these characters whatsoever. I couldn’t care what happened to any of them nor did I buy the forced romance between Talbot and his brother’s fiancé. It’s not like the characters are all unsympathetic, it’s just that the script doesn’t allow these characters to really stand out.

Another huge issue I had was the casting of Del Toro. I think he is a fine actor and very good in alot of roles but he just doesn’t have the heart-breaking sympathy that Chaney pulled off in the original film. Del Toro just looks tired and confused in this remake. What this movie should have done was look at something like the TV series The Incredible Hulk. That show had heart, it had drama, characters that you liked and felt sorry for and cared about. There are alot of similarities between The Wolfman and The Hulk already. The Wolfman‘s romantic subplot is very stale on top of it, bogging the film down more than anything.

The make up is very good but shown very little. The special effects are almost all CGI and they look about as realistic as if you were playing a video game. One scene near the end has a character on fire and his head is chopped off and rolls into the camera. It looks so lousy, I laughed out loud.

But the film isn’t awful. I did appreciate the setting and costumes. The film is filled with great atmosphere as well, making it lovely to look at. Hopkins is always excellent to watch and the gore was surprisingly plentiful.

Although I have seen much worse, Hollywood fails yet again on another remake.

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