Drama (Action, Horror)
Running Time: 103 minutes
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Hug Weaving, Emily Blunt
Directed By: Joe Johnston
Rating: 2 out of 10
A man travels back to his hometown in England to investigate his brother’s murder only to find it might be at the hands of a werewolf.
This movie falls under the category of what were they thinking? Hopefully this will be the final proof that stand alone werewolf movies just plain suck. Werewolves can work as part as an ensemble monster cast or even battling vampires but please stop making solo films about these creatures. The Wolfman is the story of Lawrence Talbot. He heads back to England to investigate his brother’s horrific murder only to discover a werewolf might be the culprit.
I am not even remotely sure what they were trying to do with this film. I am pretty sure the director and writers had no idea either. Werewolves are the tackiest of the evil monsters. They cannot sneak about or stalk you quietly as they are lumbering brutes. They can only attack viciously and without provocation and that gets tiring for a whole movie when that is all they can do. The film starts with a rather uninspired opening scene where we see a man being chased through the woods. It is a puzzling start and somehow the film never recovers from it. The film is a strange blend of period piece drama and over the top gore. What the movie isn’t, is a good watch. It goes from a scene where the Werewolf arbitrarily mauls some people into extended scenes of pithy dialogue. When the werewolf was on screen tearing off human appendages I was not scared, I was for the most part just bored. When the werewolf wasn’t on screen I was also bored and it will be a struggle for most people to get through this film.
This is not your run of the mill cast in this film but I won’t spend much time on it as the characters were as dull as the movie. I am not picking on anyone who acted in this film because no one could have done a good job. Lawrence Talbot played by Benicio Del Toro sporting a Moe haircut from the Three Stooges will shoulder most of the blame for this film as he was the lead. He does nothing to make this film work. He just shows up and spouts off some lines and end scene. His character is the worst in a host of bad characters. Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, and Hugo Weaving offer nothing positive but are in this if you are fans of theirs.
The film is always slow and when it isn’t slow it is stupid. The werewolf terrorizes the local populace and kills off town folk and yet you are never sure who is dying on screen. Everyone looks a like so it is never clear if we are supposed to care about who is dying. When the blood spurts in generous amounts of gushes across the screen it is accompanied by a shrill and obnoxious musical score. The Werewolf kills lots of people and yet the town doesn’t ever seem that worried about it. There is the odd scene where a town member expresses worry but no real stress is evoked living so close to an animal that can shred your skin off in one swing of its claws. The Werewolf is everywhere in this from the forest to the heart of the city and even when he gets shot with silver bullets he never slows. When you finally do glimpse the wolf it is even more of a letdown then anything else in this movie. The werewolf reminded me of a computer generated Michael J Fox from Teen Wolf that will illicit little to no fear from the viewer. If somehow you are not familiar with werewolves they transform from human to werewolf at every full moon. For some reason full moons occur at a startlingly frequency in this. If the movie is good than that can be overlooked but because it was crappy it is another thing added to the list of why not to watch this. Bottom line is this movie failed on almost every level. The love story between Lawrence and Gwen (Blunt) is forced, the gore and frights are poorly executed or nonexistent, the dialogue is long winded, and the ending is in line with the rest of the story which is trash.
Director Joe Johnston knows kids movies (Jumanji, Honey I Shrunk the Kids) but he should stick with those types of films. His action repertoire (Jurassic Park 3, Captain America) is less than stellar and this shows he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He took a massive budget (150 mill est.) and really you will be hard pressed to find out where the money went. In Johnston’s defense this is one of the worst scripts ever penned in this genre (Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self). Having this type of film as an old fashioned period drama is both illogical and dull. The camera work is shoddy along with some odd editing and most importantly I was not afraid even once. The film sets itself up for a sequel that the masses will be screaming for the love of god no to. This should be proof positive that even with a huge budget and a great cast that werewolves films are just not meant to be.
I cannot recommend this film as you will be howling in disgust more than the wolf howls at the full moon.
T Factor + If you like werewolf movies than this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like to be frightened while watching horror then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Jeepers Creepers, Cursed.