I’m a big fan of anything trying to emulate the look and feel of the old Universal Monsters flicks – so I was really excited about The 2010 version of The Wolfman. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
First off: Benicio del Toro. Usually a fine actor, I felt like he was pretty much phoning it in here. And Anthony Hopkins, as his father, was basically playing a caricature of himself: a mashup of Col. William Ludlow and Van Helsing, to be precise. Emily Blunt is just fine as the brokenhearted (but not for long!) fiance, but all she has to do here is look ethereally beautiful (Hugo Weaving did the best acting in this thing, chewing up scenery and acting like he actually cared about the film).
There was nothing really wrong with Andrew Kevin Walker’s script either – it was a nice homage to the 1941 Lon Chaney Jr. Wolf Man, with some interesting rewrites in terms of story arc. In fact, the plot may have been the most well-constructed thing about this movie, but something fell flat. Director Joe Johnston (who has an impressively bad film history) just couldn’t pull it together.
The best scenes occur at a creepy old mental hospital (I mean, they’re ALL creepy, right? But this one is particularly frightening), wherein you end up rooting for the Wolfman to KILL everyone, followed by a Victorian version of the street carnage scene in An American Werewolf in London. Seriously, Landis? You might want to take a look at that…
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re a hardcore film nerd and just want to get a look at the amazingly constructed sets, the transformation F/X and the terrific amount of splatter (limbs pulled off, heads rolling, and buckets o’blood). Which, duh – I am. So I enjoyed it to a certain extent.