Review: THE WOLFMAN - Why did it have to come to this?

Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins, Hugo Weaving 


Inspired by the classic Universal film that launched a legacy of horror, The Wolfman brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Lawrence Talbot is lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. It’s there that he’s reunited with his estranged father. From there Talbot sets out to find his brother...and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself.

He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline has come to investigate. As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, a simple man with a tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself... one he never imagined existed


If you’ve been reading the site then you know how excited I was to see Universal Picture's The Wolfman. Despite all of the problems that the film went through during production, and all the negative reviews that have been pouring out on this film, I still managed to keep my excitement level up and have a positive attitude. This was a movie that had huge potential. I loved all of the images, trailers and film clips that came out for this movie. On top of that I’m also a big fan of the director Joe Johnston, so why wouldn’t I be excited? I was so ready to finally see this film.

I wish I could tell you that the movie was an incredible adaptation of the classic Wolfman tale that we've all come to know and love. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. It had some enjoyable moments that were fun to watch, but in the end I was disappointed with film. I didn't want it to be this way! I wanted to give the film a good review so bad! It had so much potential, but ultimately it was a big let down. It’s funny, I had so much positivity going into this film, that while I was watching it I was trying to convince myself that what I was seeing was good! But, as the movie went on I just couldn’t do it, and by the end of the film the last nail was hammered into the coffin.

Visually that movie was great! I loved the setting, tone and creature design. The special effects were pretty sold and I like the transformation of The Wolfman. They nailed the classic style look and feel of the story perfectly. Hell, I even liked the the films story! But, as you all know just because a movie looks good, and there’s a good story concept, doesn’t mean the script will be good. And in the case of The Wolfman, the script sucked. 

I honestly don’t know how or who at Universal read this script and let it move into production, it obviously needed a lot of work before they went and spent millions of dollars on making the movie. There were so many problems with how this story was scripted. There were several instances where things just didn’t make sense. Parts where I just had to throw my arms up in the air and say, “what the hell!” I will get into a couple of these little things in a little spoiler section at the end of the main review. 

One of the most noticeable problems with the film was the editing. As you know right before the film was released they were still trying to clean up the films editing. It didn’t look like anyone cleaned up anything, the editing butchered the film! It was full of bad cuts and awful transitions. There were a few times in the film where a scene was building up to something important, then all of a sudden the scene would end abruptly, and move on to the next scene. Even the music and sound transition was bad. It’s like no one took the time and care to make any fluidly flowing scene transitions that made sense. Everything was a hard edge cut, and it just pulled me right out of the story.

Everyone involved with this movie is to blame for it’s awfulness. No one gets off the hook. There were so many people involved with creating this movie, and they all had ideas that for some reason were just thrown into the story. There should have been someone to say no to a lot of these idea’s. 

Spoiler Section

There is one scene in particular that I want to talk about that was absolutely ridiculous in every way possible. First of all the scene broke one of the major rules of the werewolf, secondly it was so terribly bad that the theater busted up laughing. At the very end of the movie Lawrence Talbot is shot while he is in wolf mode. After he’s shot he transforms from werewolf to human which happens after they die... AFTER. But in the film after he turns into a human he’s still alive and has a little conversation with Emily Blunt before he REALLY dies. I just want to point out that a werewolf has to be completely dead before he turns into a human. I also want to point out that this scene was the final nail in the coffin for me in the film, not because of the explanation above but because it was seriously THE WORST DEATH SCENE IN A MOVIE EVER! It was so bad the the entire audience busted up laughing in the theater.

This was just one of several other problems that the film had.

End Spoiler

I also just want to point out that I really enjoyed the performances of both Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving, they were pretty awesome in the this film, but when aren't they? 

The Wolfman had it’s good moments and qualities, but it ultimately let me and most of the other fan of the original film down. If you haven’t seen it yet then I’m not going to recommend to you. This movie is a rental, I wouldn’t waste my money to see it in the theater if I were you. 

If you have seen The Wolfman what did you think about it?

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