Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

The Wolfman February 19, 2010
The Wolfman
Studio: Universal Studios
Rating: R for bloody horror violence and gore.

Alongside Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and mummies, the werewolf is a classic horror villain.

Just like the original film made back in 1941, this new version of "The Wolfman" is set in the late 1880s. Benicio Del Toro plays an American actor named Lawrence Talbot. He's performing in London when his brother's fiance' writes and tells of his disappearance.

Lawrence returns to his ancestral home and reunites with his estranged father Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins).

But sadly his brother his dead and Lawrence is attacked by the same beast which killed him.

Barely surviving his encounter, Lawrence is badly hurt. But, nursed back to health by his late brother's fiance' Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt) it isn't long until he is better than ever.

But Lawrence's doctor is suspicious of his miraculous recovery. He tells people in town what is going on and they come to Talbot Manor to make sure Lawrence isn't a cursed victim of the beast.

Saved from the townspeople by his father, Lawrence soon learns of his true fate when the moon is full.

I liked "The Wolfman" for a number of reasons. The mood is perfect, it evokes an old-fashioned horror movie. Hopkins is great as the elder Talbot. Blunt does a wonderful job as Gwen and Hugo Weaving is perfect as the Scotland Yard Inspector trying to solve a string of brutal murders.

The weakest acting link is the lead. Del Toro has never struck me as a performer with a great deal of range and here he plays Lawrence a little too subdued. I wanted to see more fire and it just isn't there.

But, again, on the positive side, Oscar-winner Rick Baker performs his usual magic with makeup, even with plenty of computer wizardry on the screen. And Danny Elfman's score transports you to the England of a century ago.

Overall, this is a tense and scary film...with plenty of gore mixed in. I just wish the star was more entertaining as a man and not just when he is a monster.

On my rating scale, "The Wolfman" earns a TRIPLE.

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