2010 started with a few appetizers, Daybreakers and Legion, but now it’s time for the main course. The Wolfman is our first blockbuster horror movie of the New Year. I had big expectations for the movie, and you would expect that with some reports of a budget over $100 million. So what does a main course with the value of over $100 million get you?
A story that was set in the late 1800’s, where Lawrence Talbot received a message from Gwen Conliffe that his brother was missing. He came home for the first time in apparently a long time, and became reacquainted with his father, that he did not get along with. He met with Gwen, and told her he will find out what happened to his brother, who was also her fiancée. After finding out that the same mysterious creature that has been killing villagers killed his brother, he vowed to find this killer. In his search for the killer, he got himself bitten by a werewolf. Now he must not only battle the demons of his past, but he must battle the beast within.
The value in this main course came from several places. The first was that you got plenty of blood and guts everywhere. The wolfman tore it up, literally. With huge claws, and super strength, he was knocking off heads, and ripping off arms. He sunk his sharp teeth into people, and chewed up their flesh. They depicted the wolfman, as he should be, a violent creature of the night.
A big part of any werewolf movie is the transformation from man to werewolf. They did a wonderful job showing the transformation. I was especially happy that it was shown more than once. Sometimes movies show you everything they got one time, but they were able to pull off the transformation several times. This gave you different perspectives to view the transformations. They seemed to focus on the arms and legs the first time, but later focused on his face. I especially liked the rage the wolfman displayed after the transformation. It was definitely the releasing of a beast.
They did an excellent job setting the mood of the movie with the imagery. The story was set in the late 1800’s, everything was old: the buildings, how people lived and dressed, and how they spoke. While the movie wasn’t in black and white, they kept a dark tone through out many of the scenes. It kind of looked like it was going to rain every day no matter what. The castle where his father lived was very dark, and especially mysterious at night. And why anyone would want to be roaming around that forest at night, I don’t know.
Along with the imagery, they got what they paid for with the acting. You don’t get much better than Anthony Hopkins (Lawrence’s father). It appeared as if he had the more complicated lines in the movie, and he delivered them great as expected. The same could be said for Emily Blunt (Gwen). She put the real emotion behind the story, and brought out the drama between Gwen and Lawrence. I can’t say I am that familiar with Benicio Del Toro’s prior roles, but I thought he did a good job also. They did him an injustice in some scenes with some pretty weak lines. There was one line in particular, during an important part in the end of the movie, which was terrible.
No matter how expensive your main course is, you can always find faults in it. While I liked the violence of the wolfman, there was one thing I thought they did too much of, and that was having the wolfman pop up everywhere. The first couple of times were fine. Actually, in one scene he sprang out of nowhere and scared the hell out of me. I swear I was just about to put a piece of popcorn in my mouth, but when the wolfman came out, I think I threw the popcorn over my shoulder instead. I’m all for scaring people like that, and you can do it a few times, but sometimes enough is enough. By the end of the movie, it wasn’t scary anymore. You were expecting him to pop out behind a tree, or be a step ahead of his victim. After a few times, I get that he was a fast moving, killing machine.
Also, there wasn’t anything special about the plot of The Wolfman. It was pretty much the basics of setting up Lawrence to get bit, realizing he was a werewolf, killing a bunch of people, and the usual love interest. There were some minor twists if you want to call them that. Don’t get me wrong though, the movie wasn’t boring. There just was not anything that shocking in the story.
There was a segment of the movie where Lawrence was making his way back home. They flashed different views of him making the long walk home, and it kind of reminded me of another movie, in which a killer was making a similar walk back home. Anyone want to guess? He wears a mask, and likes killing his family members, preferably with a knife. For those of you who also saw Halloween 2, this reminded me of Michael’s journey back home. Just a random thought I thought I should share.
This main course included many things to like. There was plenty of blood and guts, and more than one transformation from man to werewolf. The imagery was excellent, and they definitely got their money’s worth from the actors. It wasn’t perfect though, as they went a little overboard trying to scare you, and the plot was missing something. However, this movie lived up to expectations, and the large budget. I give this movie 3 pools of blood.