MOVIE REVIEW: The Wolf Man (2010)
When I saw the trailer for this movie, I immediately said, “I hope they have some sort of werewolf battle at the end.” I went to see it, and I was not disappointed. But I am getting ahead of myself in this review of a remake of a movie from 1941.
So, there’s an English guy who got attacked by a werewolf. He died, so he obviously isn’t the werewolf. The guy’s brother, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro, Sin City, Star Wars Episode VIII: the Last Jedi), comes from a very successful stage career in America to see to the details of his brother’s funeral and his estate, Talbot Manor. He would not have known about it from his aloof asshole of a father Sir John Talbot (Sir Anthony Hopkins, The Mask of Zorro, Silence of the Lambs, Titus, The Lion in Winter) who still lives there, but instead learned about his brother’s death from from Gwen Contliff (Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place, Edge of Tomorrow), his brother’s fiancee. Lawrence eventually got to view the body before burial and found a medallion on the corpse, the kind sold at the gypsy camp outside of their town, known as Blackmoor.
Upon visiting, Lawrence meets with an old gypsy woman, Maleva (Geraldine Chaplin), who tells Lawrence that his brother was attacked by something evil. Just then, the gypsy camp comes under attack by the werewolf, and Lawrence is bitten. So begins the most awesome displays of movie makeup magic since the late Stan Winston, as created by Rick Baker. You can feel the burn of the wounds as the curse reddens the flesh while coursing through Lawrence’s veins. It’s really amazing stuff. Then the change from man to wolf-man occurs and IT IS INCREDIBLE. The digital FX are able to twist and shape the actor into a monstrosity that doesn’t stray too far from the base of the werewolf design, that can give a great blood-curdling howl against the biggest full moon since the time of the dinosaurs.
Eventually, bad stuff happens. One can only expect a werewolf on the loose to cause havoc. So Inspector Abberline of Scotland Yard (Hugo Weaving, the Matrix trilogy, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Mortal Engines) comes to investigate the Blackmoor murders and was able to catch the person responsible for them — Lawrence Talbot? The madness does not stop there, as Lawrence is taken to a London mental institution for incarceration and study. He promptly escapes by transforming into a werewolf and causes havoc on the streets of London, all on the way back to Blackmoor. It is there that the truth is revealed about Lawrence’s past, his brother’s murder, and his mother’s death — all in the same shot. It also gives me the satisfaction of seeing something I called at the beginning of the movie and this review: WEREWOLF SHOWDOWN. A werewolf showdown, I might add, that does NOT disappoint.
- Geraldine Chaplin, type-cast forever as the old gypsy woman. She does it so well, who will be the old gypsy woman when she is gone?
- I think the casting directors covered the fact that Benicio del Toro is perfect to be a werewolf, but not a Caucasian werewolf (there are differences). They handled it by making his mother Solana a Spanish lady, so big ups to the writing and casting staff.
- That doctor in the asylum got messed up.
- The gore in this movie is top-notch, and worthy of the Academy Award it received.
- WEREWOLF SHOWDOWN. That is all.
I don’t think I can stress how easily this movie can just boil down to two words: werewolf showdown. The movie is generally run-of-the-mill horror, with the few bright shining moments previously mentioned. Not even Hugo Weaving’s dry matter-of-fact delivery of his lines could save this film. To me, the movie had few surprises that would trump what I was already expecting. If this movie could have been more engaging, then I would have welcomed it. For now, I’m fine with my werewolf showdown.
Originally published at http://gedren56.blogspot.com.