Friday, February 12, 2010

The Wolfman (2010)

Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt



Inspired by the classic Universal film that launched a legacy of horror, The Wolfman brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro stars as Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father (Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins), Talbot sets out to find his brother...and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself. [Note: this synopsis was shamelessly stolen from Flixster on Facebook].


This is a very good movie. While it is not spectacular in anyway, it is an intriguing film that supplies decent action sequences while exploring the hidden demons of man and the beast within.


De Toro does a good job as Talbot, who must simultaneously stop his own murderous rampage while also confront his unfortunate past. His transformation into the Wolfman is pretty cool, and the final result is fitting as well. He also runs really fast; I mean he is like Taz the Tasmanian devil from the Looney Tunes at times. Hopkins drifts through the first part and barely seems to be acting at all, but as his character develops more, he appears to become more involved in the role. And, not surprisingly, he is really crazy. Emily Blunt, as the semi-love interest of the story, plays a relatively minor role (except at the end), but she does well with what she has. Hugo Weaving also did a good job as a snobby but determined detective.


More of an action than a horror film, it nonetheless has fun showing off the gruesome deaths of the wolfman’s victims, which can be both bloody and pretty funny at the same time (and for those who are concerned, do not worry, it is not done in a campy fashion). I personally like the parts that take place in the woods, but the London scenes are pretty good as well, especially when all of the prim and proper English guys freak out when Talbot transforms.


The movie does have its flaws. Some of the scenes at the beginning are a bit choppy: the characters will be talking and then all the sudden it skips to the next part for no reason. I guess the filmmakers were trying to speed things up a bit so it did not drag out too long, which they should be given credit for, but they should have been a little more careful when it came to the editing. I also did not care much for the dream sequences; they were just too random, though it was kind of amusing to see Talbot have a double nightmare that each last but a few seconds.


None of this really matters in the last thirty minutes or so, which I think is the best part of the movie. It shows the violent struggle between a father and son, which perfectly illustrates the internal battle that man must fight in order to “defeat” his evil nature, though as the climax reveals, it never really goes away entirely.


Overall, it is an enjoyable time. For those who are wondering how this compares to the original 1940s film, I am afraid I cannot say since I have yet to see it, though I am now encouraged to do so after seen this new version. Anyway, I recommend this movie.