February 22, 2010

Movie Review: The Wolfman

Anytime I can actually see a movie in a theater, I'm excited. But a creature feature on the big screen? Now that's a good time.

Casting Benicio Del Toro as the titular Wolfman was brilliant. He just looks like he has a beast inside of him, waiting to claw its way out. Emily Blunt co-stars as Gwen, his recently deceased brother's fiance, and Anthony Hopkins is perfectly cast as his father.

This movie was good but I felt like it should've been so much better. Del Toro's character, Lawrence, has been living in America and has a mostly Americanized, bland accent. I so wanted to hear him speak with more of a hint of his real accent. I know, it's just a little thing but hearing him speak kept distracting me. I felt like he was a watered down version of what he could have been.

If you're going to see this movie, the plot isn't all that important, but here it is. In trying to find out what happened to his brother, Lawrence encounters the beast that's been terrifying the town and gets bit in the process, turning him into a werewolf. Can Gwen save his soul or is he doomed to be a monster forever?

Got it. Now, let's talk special effects. There was definitely not a shortage of budget when it came to karo syrup blood and fake intestines. Limbs are ripped off with abandon and bodies are used as chew toys. Even knowing what the movie was about, I was a little surprised at the level of gore for pure entertainment's sake. This is NOT a movie for children, despite the disturbing attendance of a five or six year old little girl at the theater.

I have mixed feelings about the actual werewolves. For the most part, they were great. When Lawrence first experienced the change, I thought to myself, "boy, they've come a long way since 'Teen Wolf". But whenever I saw his face, I just kept thinking of the old black and white version with Bela Lugosi. He was almost too...cuddly.

Yes, I'm probably being a bit too particular. I want my creatures to either be very impressive or "B" quality cheese. I don't want them somewhere in the middle. But overall, "The Wolfman" was an entertaining ride. (****)

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