Release Date (UK) – 12 February 2010
Certificate (UK) – 15
Country – USA
Director – Joe Johnston
Runtime – 102 mins
Starring – Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt
The Wolfman is a remake of the classic 1941 B-movie of the same name. Starring Del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, the son who returns home to Victorian Britain to try and uncover the mysterious circumstances surrounding his brothers recent death. The local village has been terrorised by a string of horrific murders after full moons and the villagers believe that these acts could be carried out not by a human but by some sort of beast. Meanwhile Lawrence’s father (Hopkins) and his brothers fiancée Gwen (Blunt) try to aid Lawrence in his quest for the truth.
Joe Johnston took on the directorial role here after Mark Romanek jumped ship, allegedly because of the films shoestring budget. Unfortunately the last minute change is probably to blame for the films failure to deliver such a quality finished piece of work that Johnston has given before with films like Jurassic Park III and Jumanji. The performances are wooden, the script is devoid of any emotion or memorable lines and the mix mashing of horror action and romance just makes for a confusing film. The films best aspect is the make up from renowned Hollywood legend Rick Baker: the wolfmen are convincingly human enough to be able to recognise the characters underneath all the hair whilst also be believable as savage beasts. The dark Victorian gothic sets are authentic but the low budgets become quickly obvious as locations are recycled and the musics predictable scare accompaniments feels disappointingly bare compared to what we expect from Danny Elfmans Oscar winning scores.
The romance story between Gwen and Lawrence is what really makes the film unwatchable, as Del Toro seems unable to create any chemistry here although Blunt does well with what he does provide. Without this propelling the plot The Wolfman could have easily been a straight out action/horror blend and could have spent more time on these themes to create a simple genre film that would have satisfied its fans. It’s really only worth watching for gore fest fans who have no issues with such poor quality overall film products.
The Wolfman Trailer