The Wolfman - *1/2
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
I have nobody to blame but myself for this movie. I should have seen this one coming. A movie with some promise, but was just begging to be cheesy. The original Wolfman is a classic but the storyline leaves a lot of room for a more intriguing story. After seeing this version I can safely say...there is still room.
The movie has an interesting premise and the potential is there, it just doesn't come through. The movie centers around a man named Lawrence (Benicio Del Toro) who returns home to look for his brother who has gone missing. Upon his return he is staying in his extraordinarily large house with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins) and his brother's fiancee (Emily Blunt).
When he arrives in town he finds out his brother is dead and was found with his body ripped to pieces. Through talking to some of the local residents, the idea of a curse is brought to his attention. A curse that turns a normal man into a great beast that can rip another man limb from limb. Naturally, Lawrence decides to go off into the night on the next full moon to see if he can track down this beast to "find out what happened to his brother." He encounters the beast, gets attacked and bitten, and, of course, becomes a werewolf himself. This leads to his first transformation at the next full moon, in which he transforms and runs off into the night to slaughter as many random people as he can.
This is one of the things that bothers me about the movie, whenever a character turns into a werewolf, he just goes on a killing rampage and disgustingly murders anyone that gets in his way. Why does he just feel the need to kill everyone? What is the point? In similar storylines where people turn into monsters they only kill when necessary or when they are defending themselves or someone else (think vampires or the Hulk). However, this beast just kills everything it sees. Perhaps this is the "scary" part of the story, but it is just stupid if you ask me.
I had a few more problems with this movie. The acting was stale, the direction was less than good and the story was very weak. This did not seem so much like an actual movie as it did a collection of scenes the director thought would be "cool," even though they were not. This lack of storyline made me especially mad when I saw that the script was written by Andrew Kevin Walker. I expected more from the writer of Se7en. It is this disappointment that leads me to believe that the original script was much better and there was much more to the story but it was so chopped up that we ended up with this movie. This would explain the disjointed feel of the movie. However, it is not an excuse, and this movie could have been more.
The acting and directing were stale for the whole movie as well. Benicio Del Toro just looks out of place and like he doesn't care the character or storyline. Anthony Hopkins is having fun in his role but he doesn't have much meat to it and it mostly comes off as stupid and cheesy. Emily Blunt is very attractive and may have some talent but doesn't show it here. She also does not look like she cares and seems disinterested. The majority of the characters in the movie feel this way, and that can be blamed on suspect writing and directing.
The movie did have one redeeming quality. The production design was great. I love period movies and this one did not disappoint in the period department. Also, the special effects were great. The transformation sequences didn't look all that real, but once transformed, the wolfman makeup looked great. The entire wolfman get up was done extremely well, which I would expect nothing less coming from Rick Baker, the makeup effects master.
All in all, a very, very disappointing movie that is not really worth your time.