The Wolfman rises again!
I thought this 2010 addition to the werewolf legend was a terrific combination of horror, action, and suspense, yet on its release the critics were far from kind and the result was a major box office bomb, with the film losing somewhere in the region of $80million on it's $150million budget. Even Ronald Meyer, president of Universal Studios, regarded the film as "crappy" and considered it to be "one of the worst movies we ever made", but I stand by my feelings for the film as I feel this reboot finally returned the classic Hollywood creature to its roots and gave it the glorious outing that it deserved.
The 2010 reboot of The Wolfman is loosely based on the 1941 classic movie of the same name. This version features the same characters and the plot is very similar, but for me the remake is more enjoyable on a multitude of levels. The new story adds more depth to the characters and is rich with details, action, suspense, and love. It's also visually superior (but 69 years of technology would mean that's a given), yet it also pays homage to the 1941 classic by keeping the setting in the 1900’s, and keeping the look of the Wolfman (half man/half wolf) as a throwback to the classic characters of yesteryear.
Story wise: A series of gruesome murders haunt a 19th century town, so when Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns home to discover his brother, Ben, was viciously murdered he vows to atone for the shortcomings in their relationship by swearing to uncover the details surrounding his brother’s demise. In the midst of his search, Lawrence falls victim to the bite of the werewolf.
Benicio Del Toro exquisitely depicts Lawrence Talbot. His performance really shows the withdrawn nature of the character right from the opening of the movie. As an audience we feel the distance that Talbot has placed between him and the rest of the world. In every exchange between Talbot and another person you can see that he has a disdain for people, until he meets Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt).
Unfortunately Blunt's performance doesn’t measure up to Del Toro’s, the romantic chemistry between the pair never sparks. This is more than made up for by Anthony Hopkins as Sir John Talbot who offers a terrific performance as Lawrence’s father and is equally mysterious and devious. Hopkins exquisitely makes the most of every minute that he appears on screen, we as an audience are never aware of his true motives which enhances the outcome of the climax of the movie.
Regardless of the general consensus, I loved this remake of The Wolfman. It was about time that someone did at least one of the classic Hollywood horror creatures justice, and every aspect of the film was great. I am quite sure it was killed on its cinematic run by the multitude of critics labeling it a disaster, yet give it a chance and you'll see that the story, the cast, as well as the look and feel of the movie is perfectly managed.
Also we have The Wolfman to thank for finally returning the "horror" feel of films from yesteryear, instead of the insane reliance upon blood, guts and gore that many modern day horror movies are filled with. If, like me, you like classic horror films then no aspect of this movie will disappoint and I'd urge you to watch it if you haven't already. Anthony Hopkins sums it up best when he said "The Beast will have his day", and thanks to this great retelling, he does.
Da’Mon Guy is a writer and artist. He’s a graduate of Coppin State University and an avid, life-long lover of film. Da'Mon has been actively writing movie reviews since 2011, for a number of publications. Check out more of his work at Examiner.com, where he has published over 400 reviews. Visit his Blog and follow him on Twitter.