Universal’s classic horror picture recieves the remake treatment…
Cast: Benico Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt & Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Screenplay by: Andrew Kevin Walker & David Self
Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) returns home to investigate the disappearance of his brother only to discover a far worse fate for himself.
It’s been four long years since Universal announced this belated remake of classic horror picture, Wolfman. Original director Mark Romanek left during pre-production with Joe Johnston eventually taking his place, and the film ended up suffering from several re-writes and re-shoots before it was finally given the green light to be released. So its not surprising to find the finished product is far from coherent and most likely far from the original vision.
The Wolfman clearly was meant to be a restrained horror picture but the almost comical outbursts of gore including plenty of stray limbs have given the film an uneven tone. The atmospheric visuals and Del Toro’s subdued lead performance highlight the original, better intention. Hopkins however happily steals the show as the sinister Lord Talbot. Hopkins is brilliantly eccentric and delivers all his lines with real relish, even if at times it is borderline camp. Disappointingly though, Emily Blunt’s grieving Gwen feels out of place, and Hugo Weaving’s Inspector Abeline is given so little screen time it’s a wonder why he was kept in the picture at all.
The action scenes are spoiled as well with some unconvincing CG and the over-the-top bloodshed. Also the all important transformation scenes aren’t handled particularly well with good and bad intentions clashing. Clearly the filmmakers were keen to pay respect to the original film by adopting the man-in-suit approach but at the same time take advantage of CG, the end result is a mixed bag at best. Mixed bag would neatly sum up The Wolfman but sadly it’s the more disappointing components of the mix that stand out.