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Rated R · 102 min. · 2010

Action/Adventure, Horror
Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman is neither as bad as you’ve probably heard, nor is it anywhere near as good as I might have hoped. It’s good looking, it’s atmospheric. The cast is good. The make-up is excellent, managing to retain the charms of the source film’s Wolf Man. The screenplay manages to flesh out the thin storyline of the 1941 film. Danny Elfman’s score is effective. The truth is that the individual components of the film are easily four star material. But somehow when they’re put together, they add up to less. First of all, there’s not much in the way of nuance here. The story is more involved, but it’s ultimately just as perfunctory as the old movie—and it lacks its subtext. Where it was possible to read the original as both an allegory for puberty and as a commentary on well-intentioned Americans barging into things they don’t understand, there’s not much here beyond a straightforward gothic horror story. It’s not a good trade-off, but it’s less troubling than the difference between Lon Chaney Jr.‘s Lawrence Talbot and that of Benicio Del Toro. Chaney was a limited actor, but his limitations fit the role. His awkward oafishness imbued the character with an innate degree of sympathy that’s missing from Del Toro’s character.These are serious flaws, but they don’t keep the film from having a good deal of merit and entertainment value. On balance, there’s more right here than wrong, but it can’t get out from beneath the sense of being less than it might have been.
Official Site: www.thewolfmanmovie.com
Director: Joe Johnston
Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self
Producer: Benicio Del Toro, Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn and Sean Daniel
Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving and Art Malik

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