being beset with delays, including a change of director in pre
production, The Wolfman arrived in theatres and had a solid run, if not
exactly lighting up the box office. Now here it is on DVD and its box
office performance can extend to the film itself. The right ingredients
seem to be in place, but the end result is unspectacular.
film centres on Lawrence Talbot (Benecio Del Toro), an actor who is
making his living far from home in America. He has gone so far because
he is still traumatised from early memories of seeing his mother with
her throat cut. While performing in London, he receives a letter from
his brothers fiancée Gwen (Emily Blunt), informing him of his death
under mysterious circumstances. He returns home to his father (Anthony
Hopkins) in order to find out the real reason behind his brothers
disappearance. While investigating a gypsy camp, it comes under attack
by a savage beast, and Talbot is bitten. Despite being near death from
the attack, he recovers in a few days and returns better than ever.
After this the attacks start and the body count piles up, as Talbot
struggles to come to terms with what he has become.
main problem with the film is that it possesses many dull stretches that
seem to stem from awkward shifts in tone. The film contains a love story
that is tedious and hard to invest in, father son dramas that suffer the
same issues, big action set pieces that suddenly ratchet up the gore,
and period drama that once again, suffers from being ultimately
uninteresting. They all seem cobbled together as if the filmmakers
couldn’t decide which angle they wanted to take on the film so they just
decided to try all of them. This results in not enough effort being
given to all the films subplots which makes them hard to care about. The
set pieces are big, and at times genuinely exciting, but feel like a
jarring shift from the ominous horror film it was trying to be. Instead
it turns the film into a slasher, and feels out of place. The
performances are decent, Del Toro broods through most of the film
effectively, and Hopkins plays a rather unhinged man quite well. Emily
Blunt doesn’t look like she was given enough to do with the script and
Weaving at times, seems to slip back into his Agent Smith persona, just
a hundred years or so back in time. The transformation from Talbot to
Wolfman is impressive, it is not a smooth transition, and feels
physically painful to watch as his limbs snap out of joints.
DVD boasts some deleted scenes, intended to flesh out the story a little
more. We get a little more on Singh the servants backstory, and an
extended fight sequence between wolves at the end. There is also an
extended cut of The Wolfman tearing up London that is quite entertaining
to watch. These are the only features included on this edition.
Wolfman was not worth the wait. With all the talent on board including
the writing talents of Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) and the award winning
cast it seems like it should have turned out better. But all the changes
and delays during production seem to have crafted a film that does not
know what it wants to be, and as a result spreads itself too thin.