February 16, 2010
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Benicio Del Toro is the kind of actor that can take a thin script and act the hell out of it. Unfortunately, this time around the excellent cast (Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, and Hugo Weaving) can’t aid him in making this film anything but a dead on arrival horror movie.
The film starts off simple enough. Lawrence (Del Toro) has returned home to find out what happen to his brother. Estranged from his father for years, he finds his father not quite the welcoming committee. As Lawrence’s investigation brings him to a gypsy camp, a mysterious creature attacks the gypsies. Lawrence’s attempt to help defend the gypsies leaves him mortally wounded by a mysterious creature. After a long recovery, he finds himself back in fighting condition.
Though it may remind may on the days of Lon Chaney, this movie is nothing like the original. The CGI is visible, but much of it is blended well into the gorgeous setting. I’ll admit though, I was a bit surprised by the gore. The film is rated R for werewolf violence, but having seen New Moon months ago, my idea of werewolf violence was quite timid. The violence and gore are a strong R for sure, but strangely, all the other attributes of most R rated horror movies were absent. Had there been a little less gore, this could have easily been PG-13, allowing the film a fighting chance at recouping its expenses.
Those of you not in the know, this movie’s release date was moved more than once. In Hollywood speak, that’s a death sentence. A move or slight modification (like a change of one week or from Friday to earlier in the week) are common. Studios are wanting to give every movie they release a fighting chance. More than one move is the studio attempting to quiet throw it out there and hope it sticks. This time of year is notorious for being a film dumping ground. Though we get hits every once in a while (300), it’s rare. The Wolfman is definitely not going to be a big hit. Everyone went to Valentine’s Day instead. Of course, from what I heard, you were better off renting than going to a movie this past weekend. The Wolfman 1.5 out of 5 stars.