Sunday, February 14, 2010

The PopSnap Review: "The Wolfman"

Before I begin this review of the new movie "The Wolfman," let me first say that I like Benecio Del Toro. I think he's a very talented actor--but "The Wolfman" was a great disappointment for me.
So what was wrong you ask? It's a problem many movies face these days, you have a great idea, a solid cast, but the problem here, as is so often the case, is the script.
It's certainly no secret that "The Wolfman" had its share of production problems, and the opening date was pushed back at least 4 times (never a good sign). Still, I wanted to see it. I'm a big Anthony Hopkins fan, and I also think Hugo Weaving does good solid work. In the cast, it's Benecio Del Toro who is the weakest link. His delivery comes off as flat and wooden, providing a protagonist you really don't care about at all (And I didn't).
The makeup was great--The main problem here is the script (or lack of one). It seemed like entire chunks of backstory had been eliminated to 'hurry up and get to the scenes with the wolfman.' Adding insult to injury is Danny Elfman's awful score, which only serves to telegraph the audience that something scary is about to happen.
Here's a typical scene: Close up shot of Benecio Del Toro walking through a creepy location at night, carrying a lantern. Haunting music in the background, the music swells, and LOOK OUT!!! Music sting! The "gotcha" moment.
I kept waiting for a certain character (I won't say who) to transform into a wolf, but they never did, even though the ENTIRE FILM hinted that this would happen.
And the ending is just, well...terrible. Hints at a sequel, or does it?? Let's just hope that never happens.
Joe Johnston ("Jurassic Park III), directed this, so I just have to ask, what happened Joe???
I can't even recommend this one to watch on home video.
So, I came up with another variation on the same theme. One of my favorite movies in recent years with the same type of storyline (yet in a more modern setting) is the Jack Nicholson movie, "Wolf," with James Spader. Also starring Michelle Pfeiffer and directed by Mike Nichols, this film is a much better telling of the same sort of tale, and it also has some wicked funny scenes.
So, if you have to see a movie about a man turning into a wolf, go for "Wolf," instead of "The Wolfman."

1 comment:

  1. Huh, I was really interested in watching this, til the all the reviews came out. Now I'd rather watch Jack Nicholson pee on a guy in 'Wolf' or watch Michael J. Fox do jumping jacks on a bus in 'Teen Wolf'. Awful.