Based on the 1941 classic, this werewolf-themed horror film set in Victorian England centers on Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro), an American man who, upon a visit to London, gets bitten by a werewolf. Talbot had come to England to make amends with his estranged father (Anthony Hopkins), but after a moonlight transformation leaves him with a savage hunger for flesh, family harmony is the least of his worries.
Rating: 3 out of 10
I have to admit that this is one of the more difficult reviews I’ve done in a while. Why, do you ask? Well, there’s a lot of talent going on here being wasted.
Director Joe Johnston (Hidalgo) has some excellent action scenes as well as moody lighting and camerawork, Hopkins is truly at the top of his game as the Wolfman’s enigmatic father, and Del Toro is also quite good as his son and heir apparent. On the other hand, the script just sucks. There’s little if any character development, there’ s a muddled love story that never feels right or evokes any emotion and there’s very little motivation to any of the main characters’ actions. When the end credits rolled, I practically forgot I ever watched it.
On top of that, let’s face it, werewolves are just plain goofy. Yes, they might have been terrifying in the early days of cinema when film was not as refined as it is now. But the idea of a guy turning into a half-wolf, half-man on the night of a full moon and mindlessly killing people is just plain silly. In fact, I found myself giggling a few times when he’d still be wearing part of his clothes that were torn to shreds after his “transformation” and howling at the night sky. I guess it isn’t just that this film is bad — it’s more that it never should have been made at all.