Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Wolfman (2010)

The Wolfman is Joe Johnston's remake/homage to the 1941 film The Wolf Man, and though the effects are obviously updated, it is rather a case of style over substance.  Benicio del Toro's Larry Talbot is not the victim as portrayed by Lon Chaney in the original.  The film is actually more a story about a dysfunctional family with some werewolves thrown in, rather than a character story about the victim of a terrible curse.

The case for the film isn't really helped by the cast; del Toro is fine but just acting by numbers, with an awful hairpiece (as Larry Talbot, not as the wolfman!), and Anthony Hopkins just seems to be bored.  Emily Blunt is the vague love interest, she is ok but unfortunately for her, her character is not as interesting as Gwen in the original film.  Hugo Weaving' s character is completely pointless.

I do like the design of the film, the wolfman looks great and the overall ambience is very sinister and atmospheric, helped by a suitably haunting score from Danny Elfman (though against all the odds doesn’t actually sound like a Danny Elfman score).  The special effects are of course much better than 1941, but though the CGI is good, the transformations are never as gruesome as American Werewolf in London, or as gooey at The Thing.  Though I did like the horrible way his teeth pop and rearrange when he transforms in the asylum.

Overall this is a distinctly average film, it looks good and has some nice special effects.  I like the fact that The Wolfman is the same design as 1941, and there is a very threatening atmosphere, but otherwise the film is simply a few set pieces strung together by a sub par plot.