Saturday, February 27, 2010

A review of the movie "The Wolfman"

Ah, the Wolfman.

I will start by saying that The Wolfman is the third least terrifying movie monster on my list (preceded only by the Blob at 1 and the Mummy at 2).  While I enjoyed the heck out of the new Mummy franchise, I was underwhelmed by the Blob remake back in the 80's.  I was therefore going to give The Wolfman a 50/50 chance of surprising me pleasantly.

*** SPOILER ALERT***

Do not continue reading if you are going to see this movie.  Instead, skip to the very bottom of this review.

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The Wolfman is a terrible movie.


I thought it was interesting that in the opening credits it is listed as "Based on the script by Curt Siodmak".  Curt Siodmak wrote the script for the original "The Wolf Man" back in 1941.  As near as I can figure, Andrew Walker and David Self (who wrote this version) cut out maybe 40 pages of script and the space between Wolf and Man, and added a lot of space for people to get gored.

Here's the story:  Benecio Del Toro is Lawrence Talbot, a popular stage actor in the 1890's who has returned from America to tour his native England.  Upon receipt of the news of his brother's mysterious disappearance, he travels home for the first time since being sent away by his father as a child (he was the child, not his father).  There he meets his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins) and his brother's fiance (Emily Blunt) and his father's servant (guy who I've never seen before).

Then a werewolf shows up, kills a whole bunch of people, and you know what?  Nobody really cares.  At least, nobody watching the movie does.

Plot contrivances abound.  For example, how do we get Benicio Del Toro as the son of Anthony Hopkins.  No problem, tart his mother up in some kind of vaguely Spanish looking dress in a flashback, and voila!

How do we explain Benicio Del Toro's accent?  Or lack thereof?  No problem, he grew up in America, away from his family.  And because he's now a famous stage actor, he just happens to be back in the country when all this happens.

Okay, but how do we explain - (slap) stop asking questions you!  Back in the box!

Speaking of Del Toro speaking, I'm guessing that this movie probably went through a couple of re-visions.  First, they probably were going to do everything with English accents.  They got Hopkins, Blunt, and Hugo Weaving.  But then they somehow got Benicio Del Toro for the lead.  I will say this, his American accent is bang on. 

But then they decided to let Anthony Hopkins, a man who can definitely do an English accent, also go with American.

And then to, I don't know, confuse everyone just that much more, Emily Blunt slips into and out of an American accent.  And so does Hugo Weaving.  I gave up, and just decided to pretend that there was a small street urchin just off camera saying things like "Top notch, guvna!" and "Oi, e's a brute that one, eh?" and "I lost me legs!"  It made me smile.

Honestly, there are so many, many reasons not to see this movie.

On the upside, it did have effects make up by Rick Baker (who among his many movies also did An American Werewolf in London), and original music by Danny Elfman.  On the downside, I would never have known that Rick Baker was involved in any way because of the CGI.  Also, this is the first movie ever scored by Danny Elfman that I did not recognize as Danny Elfman.  And I didn't like that either of those things happened.

So there you have it.  Don't see this movie.

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Anthony Hopkins is a werewolf.

I know, I know, you hate me for ruining the movie, but swear to god, I just saved you $10 and 2 hours.  You should thank me.

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