After his brother is murdered by a werewolf in the woods, haunted Yorkshire nobleman Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is called back to his family estate by his brother’s fiancée Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt) and is reunited with his father Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins).
Unfortunately (1) Del Toro is soon bitten himself and turns into a Wolfman, (2) he falls for Blunt and she falls for him (3) the dodgy Scotland Yard inspector (Hugo Weaving) who probed the Ripper case comes to investigate and (4) Hopkins turns out to be a werewolf too! Talk about trouble at mill! It never rains but it pours up North!
Sluggish, poorly cast and just plain dull, director Joe Johnston’s costly ($150 million) 2010 remake of the old 1941 Lon Chaney Jr chiller The Wolf Man takes itself far too seriously. It may be handsome looking but it isn’t clever, witty or stylish enough and really it just isn’t any fun.
A creaky old B-movie masquerading as an A-lister, it’s plenty gory but even Rick Baker’s transformation effects don’t amaze like they should (he did them so much better in An American Werewolf in London) and the action, though plentiful after the atmospheric first half hour, doesn’t thrill.
However, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey won the 2011 Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup.
The casting is totally wayward – Hopkins as Del Toro’s dad, I ask you! Neither of them at are their best here – you can’t muster up an ounce of sympathy for for either. Equally weirdly cast Weaving comes off best as the copper – at least he looks right for the role – and Blunt is fine in a boring tacked-on romantic part.
The cliché-ridden script allows for old chestnuts like `get off my land’. I didn’t think that we would ever hear that one again! And, oh that relentless soupy music from Danny Elfman – normally guaranteed to come up with a nice catchy score.
Sharply cut and suspiciously short at 103 minutes, the movie paces along. But if the best to say for it is that it looks good, there really is trouble at mill.
And indeed suspicion of the pared down theatrical version was right: the unrated director’s cut runs a full
It didn’t fare too well at the box office, taking $61 million in the US.
Universal credit the 1941 motion picture screenplay by Curt Siodmak in the adaptation by Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4324
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