Tuesday, 8 June 2010


George Waggner's 1941 THE WOLF MAN (note the subtle difference in the title) was not the brightest of movies and neither is Joe Johnston's 2010 remake. Both films have plot flaws and illogical moments which bring a smile to those who not necessarily looking for great intellectual truths or deep philosophical ponderings. The many critics of Johnston's film seem to live in a cloistered little world where horror films are the be all and end all of cinematic art - even suggesting that Rob Zombie might have been a better director!!!!!!!!. Nothing much seems to exist for them outside the genre. Horror films of the generic kind are not particularly important in the scheme of things but good ones are enormously entertaining and this is where THE WOLFMAN scores very highly for me. Unlike the appalling VAN HELSING, Johnston's THE WOLFMAN seems to know exactly where it is going. It is full-blooded (in more ways than one) gothic melodrama with no pretensions. It has minor faults (particularly when potentially interesting plot elements are introduced and then dropped - such as the mysterious man with the cane) but it is very well acted with Del Toro a perfect choice as Lawrence Talbot (here a moody Byronic Shakespearean actor, first seen playing Hamlet on stage) and Anthony Hopkins just right as his father (a very different character from Claude Rains in the original) indulging in some very effective underplaying. Hugo Weaving turns up as Inspector Abberline (a real-life character) fresh from hunting Jack the Ripper (a better performance than either Michael Caine or Johnny Depp gave in previous film incarnations of Abberline.) Emily Blunt's role a Gwen seems a bit underwritten but not fatally. The films looks gorgeous (even if some of the locations used for Victorian London look a tad familiar). Danny Elfman's score is excellent, if somewhat reminiscent of Kilar's music for Francis Coppola's DRACULA. Great fun. Rating ****


Cerpts said...

Once I heard the casting of Benicio del Toro, I found myself with high hopes (and realistic doubts) for this movie. It's nice to see that it wasn't another VAN HELSING (**hack cough***). Sorry, that movie title always triggers my gag reflex. Back the Wolfie, I've been wanting to see it and now I feel justified in moving it onto my queue.

But more importantly, WHERE'D YOU GET "TWO RODE TOGETHER"?!?!?!? I've been wanting to see that for donkey's years!

Weaverman said...

Oh, I'm sure it'll turn up you way soon. I hired it from LoveFilm.