To be fair, the wolf man movies never have been amongst the strongest of monster movies to come out of the Universal studios, even though his character, or rather said Lawrence Talbot, always had been such an intriguing one. What I always loved about his character was that he was disgusted with himself and really, really didn't wanted to be the wolf man (or wolfman as this movie suddenly decides to call him) and was desperate to find a cure for his condition. This element is totally gone in this movie and all that Lawrence Talbot does this time is running from the police and trying to get even with his father. There is no real depth to his character, which makes him and this movie as a whole a quite bland one.

But it's not really fair to judge this movie as a remake, since it in essence is a completely different movie than the original 1941 one. Not only the characters are totally different but also the story has about nothing in common with the Lon Chaney Jr. movie. No need to watch the original first, or expect a lot of cool references to the classic original. This is a totally different movie on its own, so I'm also judging it that way.

The foremost thing that prevented me from really liking or enjoying this movie was its pacing. The pace seemed totally off and the movie didn't really ever had a good flow to it. Scene's don't really follow each other nice or naturally and the movie also seemed to have some difficulties to find the right balance between its drama, romance and horror, with its story and way of storytelling, by director Joe Johnston, who I have always liked as a director of entertainment actually. The movie is filled with far too many slow moments, in which there is lots of (uninteresting) talking. It could had worked if the characters had been fleshed out more a bit, I guess.

It's a movie that also feels quite long, even though it's only just 2 hours long (if you're watching the directors cut, like I did, that is) but this can easily be explained. It's not simply due to its pacing but also really due to its story. It isn't until half way through the movie that the Benicio Del Toro finally first transforms into the wolfman. After that point the movie becomes a bit of a different one, so it's like you're watching 2 full length movies, played right after each other. The movie most likely went through numerous re-writes, just like this movie got passed through by different directors, who were involved at one point or another to this project.

This foremost was Benicio Del Toro dream project. He always wanted to be the wolfman and he really pushed this movie to get done. You can tell he really committed himself to his role and he is not bad or miscast, as most people seem to think and say. I think the reason why people don't really like him in this movie is simply because his character isn't very well written, which really goes for all of the characters in this movie, who are all lacking in depth and a good back-story. I also really didn't liked how the Hugo Weaving character got played and presented as a villain, while all he was trying to do was to stop horrific killings from occurring and protect the many innocents from dying. There is nothing in this movie its story that is really justifying Del Toro being the 'good' guy and Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving being the bad guys. You just never care enough for any of the characters to make you really root for anyone.

It's a very dark looking movie and probably too dark. It seems like the right style and atmosphere for this movie but it doesn't really enhances the movie its classic horror aspects. It more seems to serve the purpose of masking the CGI effects. The movie is heavy on its computer effects and the one time its quite good and acceptable looking while at others it's far too fake. I still kind of liked all of the transformation sequences though.

It's a movie that can get quite bloody and gory but for the fans of the genre there are simply far too little moments like this in the movie. You could say that it's lacking in its action and horror and I think that this is the foremost reason why lots of people were disappointed with watching this movie.

I myself was also quite disappointed. I never expected this movie to be great but I at least expected to get some entertainment and enjoyment out of it and that it perhaps would take me back to the old days of the classic Universal horror monster movies. It however was instead a poorly told movie, with a weak script and characters, that is lacking with its pacing and horror as well.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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