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The Wolfman Review

Posted in Film Reviews And Conversations with tags , on February 19, 2010 by Adam Broome
It has been recently recognised that I saw only 3 films at the cinema last year – two of which were SO BAD… – So, having let the Avatar hype die down a little, I return to the big screen for a film that has been in production for the best part of two years.

For those not in the know, this is basically a remake of the original werewolf film – The Wolfman from 1941. I believed this would place the story in present day – I was surprised when it turned out to be a period drama. Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot, who has returned to his English estate to investigate the death of his brother, apparently ripped to pieces by some animal-like thing.
Okay, so we all know where it goes from here. The story is cliche city, it has to be said, from Del Toro falling in love with his brother’s fiance, to Hugo Weaving’s detective coming in on the case. It’s not long before a line of characters have been set up, and Del Toro has been bitten – you just sit back, wait for the full moon, and watch the carnage unfold, placing bets on who you think will survive until the end of the film.
Anthony Hopkins puts in the best performance as only a true Englishman could do (although it must be said, the American cast do not do badly trying to impersonate us). His character is also the only one that manages to add a bit of much-welcomed depth to the story as the heads and limbs fly.
The special effects are done quite well, the cinematography is well-shot. The story is shallow, but gallops along at a pace fast enough to make it hard to notice. The set pieces are also done quite well – from an attack on a gypsy encampment to a chase through Victorian London (one part which comes straight out of An American Werewolf…). All set pieces come with bloodbath galore (think Kill Bill) which sets this close to becoming a slasher film. Despite many action scenes however, some scenes are set up but unused, which feel like a missed opportunity. Locations are repeated several times, which may eventually lead you wanting to see something else other than a manor house or a forest.
With nice performances, this is a comfortable film to officially start the year on. It is what it is, and pretends to be nothing else. It is both a homage and a remake of a B-Movie, and it is just that – lots of jumps (and I usually HATE ‘jump’ films), lots of gore. I can see why they released it near Valentines Day – the perfect horror film to cuddle close to. It wont change your view of the world, but it is entertaining, and it is a welcome step in trying to forget the real horror films of last year.