The Wolfman is another horror remake, however this is a remake of a film made quite some time ago, 1941 to be exact. So how exactly does this hold up? Could the story be done again for a new audience? Did the production problems that plagued the film actually hurt the film? Well I think the answer is yes and no, and it is really up to each person’s individual tastes, I haven’t seen a film with such mixed reviews for quite some time. I have seen people who hated this, people who loved it, people who thought it was average, below average, above average, it is all over the place. Well where does it sit with me? Slightly above average with the rating I have given it and I have my reasons obviously.
The story is not new, being that it is a remake however we haven’t seen a werewolf like this for quite some time (at least from what I can remember), he is a wolfman so he isn’t on all fours (well some scenes yes but you get what I mean). The story is simple, a man named Lawrence Talbert (Benicio Del Toro) returns to where he grew up after the disappearance of his brother. It turns out something really vicious killed his brother and this beast is on the loose, of course Lawrence takes it upon himself to find out the truth. There are the complications of a strained relationship with his father John (Anthony Hopkins) and the attraction he feels for the woman his brother left behind Gwen (Emily Blunt). Also on the trail is one Abberline (Hugo Weaving) determined to find out what is going on.
All the elements are there, mystery, family relationship, budding romance, mythology, and does it all come together? Yes and no, I felt that with this film they wanted it to be old school horror like the original but adding in elements of todays horror with gruesome gore and some violent scenes. It kind of worked in a way and it also didn’t, the look of the Wolfman was alright but it seemed a little dated. He looked good but he looked like be belonged in a 40’s film, on the plus side it gave some nice gore effects and it was a bit messy. Benicio was really hit and miss, his accent was mostly on but he seemed to be sleep walking his way through despite having the perfect look for the role. Anthony Hopkins was good, but there were some scenes that were unintentionally funny and that spoiled the mood a bit. He tried with the material he was given and I give him props for that. Emily Blunt is in a throw away role and she does what she can but it is a weak and poorly written role. She looks nice however, and she has zero chemistry with Benicio and the relationship between them just never got off the ground and I found it hard to believe she would care so much for him when she barely knows the man. Hugo Weaving is always awesome and I loved him in this role, I thought he was great even with the scene chewing he does.
The music that was used in the film I actually quite liked and I thought it was rather affective, there was a lot of issues with the music and this film but for me it came together in the end. I really and truly hated the howling the Wolfman did, it was just too funny and silly and it really did not work what so ever, for me it was a mood killer. Unfortunately this film just has a mixture of elements that both work and don’t work and those things which I think could have been fixed would have provided a much better film. The trailers for this film were actually quite awesome and extremely well edited, it really gave me high hopes. It suffers from pacing problems, I think certain things could have easily been removed for a tighter film. However some scenes actually worked rather well and were paced out nicely. I wish the rest would have been like that, but alas this is the film we were given. I’d be interested to see a director’s cut and see how that might differ from the theatrical cut.